Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan on Wednesday alleged he was illegally removed as the party president by an LJP faction led by his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras and he was ready to fight a legal battle over it. “If Pashupati Paras wanted to be the leader of the party in Parliament, he could have told me and I would have happily made him the leader. The way I was removed was completely illegal. We are also ready for a legal battle,” he said.
Alleging that JDU was behind the division, Paswan, MP from Jamui, said, “JDU as a party has always tried to divide other parties that come up to give them a fight. We are devising a legal way to respond to everything that has happened in the past few days. JDU is solely responsible for the current situation.”
Claiming that he has been betrayed, Paswan said, “I have not been keeping well for the past few days. I am still recovering from typhoid.. what hurts me the most is the fact that when I was on bed rest, such a stratergy was made behind my back.”
“I tried my level best to make sure that the party and family stays united. Even my mother tried to contact uncle but was not able to do so,” he said.
“Bihar Assembly election was a very difficult time for me… I lost my father then, but did not get any time to spend with my family. LJP performed exceptionally well in the assembly elections. We increased our vote percentage from 2 per cent to 6 per cent,” he said.
Meanwhile, Paras hit back at Paswan saying, “You must ask Chirag Paswan why he removed me from the state president’s post. He did it even when he doesn’t hold power. We contested Bihar elections under my supervision and all 6 MPs won. We received the highest percentage of vote as per election commission’s report.”
Chirag Paswan believes that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) has worked to engineer the split as it wants to finish him off politically following his strident campaign against the state’s ruling party in the 2020 assembly elections. Describing his uncle as “power hungry” whose conduct “hurt” his father when he was ailing, the young leader seeks to galavanise the LJP’s core support of the Paswan community around him.
“This is a long drawn battle. Ram Vilas Paswan was also dissapointed during his last days as news of divide in the party was very prominent at that time. Definitely if we would have fought the elections with the alliance we might have won more seats but for that I would have to bow down to Nitish Kumar, which is against my ideology. My uncle or any member of my family did not participate in the election fully,” he said.
“I saw a father figure in Pasupati Paras and I was more hurt day before yesterday when my uncle left my side rather than the day on which my father passed away,” he said.
Paswan on Tuesday shared on Twitter a letter he had written to Paras on March 29, in which he had said that Prince Raj, a party MP and his cousin who has sided with Paras, was allegedly blackmailed by a woman over the allegations of “sexual exploitation”. On being asked about it, he said today, “I am not an investigating authority. I told both Prince and Swati to approach police. I have not been in touch with her since then.”
Paswan has contested Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla’s decision to name Paras as the leader of the party in the House, saying it is “contrary” to provisions of his organisation. In a letter written on Tuesday, Paswan also informed Birla of the party’s decision to expel five MPs, who have joined hands against him, and urged the Speaker to review the earlier decision and issue a new circular naming him as the LJP leader in the Lok Sabha.
“Since Article 26 of the Constitution of Lok Jan Shakti Party empower Central Parliamentary Board of the party to decide who would be Leader of our Party in Lok Sabha, hence, the decision of announcing Sh. Pashupati Kumar Paras MP as Leader of LJP party in the Lok Sabha is contrary to provision of Constitution of our party,” he wrote.
Paswan’s paternal uncle Paras has been elected as their leader by the five of party’s six MPs in place of him. Both factions have now moved to control the party and project their group as the real LJP, founded by Paswan’s father Ram Vilas Paswan. While the wing led by Chirag Paswan has expelled the five MPs from the party, the rival group has removed him as its president.
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