Within 48 hours of celebrating the 14th anniversary of their armed insurrection, Nepal's Maoist party on Saturday expelled a top leader from the Terai plains following a split in the once underground party.
Matrika Prasad Yadav, once the chief of the Maoist party in the Terai region and two times minister, was expelled for criticising party supremo and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda and accusing the party of corruption and nepotism.
"The central committee of the party decided to expel Yadav for his anarchical deviation," Maoist spokesman and lawmaker Dinanath Sharma said.
The expulsion comes as a tit for tat measure as Yadav, former forest minister in the Prachanda-led cabinet, announced earlier this week that he was quitting the party as well as his seat in the constituent assembly in protest.
Yadav is the first top leader to be shown the door by the party.
Yadav said he was resurrecting the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) that became defunct last year after it merged with a splinter communist party and renamed itself the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).
Since Yadav's revolt, the party has been facing more defections by middle-level leaders.
The maverick rebel, who went to Beijing for consultations before announcing his revolt, is planning to ask the armed bands of former Maoists active in the Terai plains to join him.
The Maoists, however, kept the door open for reconciliation.
Sharma said if Yadav desired to return to the party fold and was ready to subject himself to public self-criticism, the party would reconsider its decision.