Five of the six Lok Janshakti Party MPs in Lok Sabha have joined hands against their leader Chirag Paswan and elected Pashupati Kumar Paras, the youngest brother of Paswan’s late father and party founder Ram Vilas Paswan, in his place, causing a big churn in Bihar politics.
The Lok Sabha Secretariat on Monday evening recognised Paras as the leader of the LJP in the House, a day after the five MPs informed Speaker Om Birla about their decision.
“I have not broken the party but saved it,” Paras, the MP from Hajipur, told reporters.
He asserted that 99 per cent of LJP workers were unhappy with the turn of events in Bihar as Paswan led his party against the JD(U) and it fared poorly in the 2020 assembly polls.
The LJP has been on the brink of collapse, he said in reference to its poor show in the polls, and lashed out at “anti-social” elements in the party, an apparent pointer to a close aide of Paswan whose proximity to him has not gone down well with many party leaders.
Paras said his group will continue to be part of the BJP-led NDA, and added that Paswan can remain in the organisation.
There has been no comment from Paswan on the development in his party.
Soon after Paras spoke to reporters, Paswan drove to his uncle’s residence in the national capital to meet him. Paswan’s cousin and MP Prince Raj also stays there.
Paswan, who has not been keeping well for some time, waited for over 20 minutes in his car before he was let into the house and then left after spending more than an hour inside.
He left without saying a word to waiting media persons.
It is believed that neither of the two rebel MPs met him. A household help said the two were not at home when the LJP chief arrived.
Paras had long been unhappy with Paswan’s style of functioning and was joined by other MPs, including Chandan Singh, Veena Devi and Mehboob Ali Kaiser, as they believed that his campaign against Nitish Kumar had left them at a disadvantage in the state’s politics.
Kaiser has been elected the party’s deputy leader.
The group is also likely to stake claim in the Election Commission to represent the real LJP with its president now left isolated at the top after taking on the mantle following his father’s death last year.
It may move to oust Paswan from the top party post in the coming days.