Kathmandu, Sep 29 (UNI) Nepal's Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Rajendra Mahato today resigned as the Election Commission(EC) here denied to recognise the dissident faction of Nepal Sadbhavana Party-Anandi Devi (NSP-A) as the main party.
The EC yesterday pronounced the verdict and asked the faction to register as a group or a separate party by 1600 hrs local time today.
However, the minister threatened to disrupt the November 22 elections rather than getting the faction registered, the Kantipur newspaper reported.
Besides, a total of 22 NSP-A leaders and activists, including Mahato, staged a demonstration this morning in front of the EC in Kantipath and tried to burn the copy of the decision.
Later, all of them were arrested, including the faction's spokesperson Sarita Giri.
Prior to giving its decision on the legitimacy of either party, the EC had summoned both factions of the NSP-A separately to obtain their claims along with evidence.
Under the existing legal provisions and limited timeframe, the EC has not been able to settle the NSP-A dispute.
In a general convention in Birgunj on September 14, the faction of then senior vice-chairman Laxman Lal Karna and the then vice-chairman Mahato in the NSP-A ousted party chair Singh, widow of veteran Madhesi leader and founder of the NSP the late Gajendra Narayan Singh, unanimously through a no-confidence vote.
The convention then appointed Mahato as the new party chief. The ouster virtually split the NSP-A once again.
But, Singh's supporters challenged the legitimacy of the convention and appealed to partymen to attend a soon-to-be-held general convention of their own.