After a brief family reunion to mark the death anniversary of Ram Vilas Paswan, the two factions of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) are again battling over which group is the “real LJP”.
Jamui MP Chirag Paswan, who maintains he is the party’s national president, has decided to field candidates in two Bihar Assembly seats where bypolls will be held. The Chirag faction said the coming elections would settle its claim of being the “real LJP”.
Chirag told reporters on Friday: “We are considering contesting both seats (Tarapur in Munger district and Kusheshwar Sthan of Darbhanga). The party will sit together and decide on it at the right time.”
LJP principal general secretary Abdul Khaliq told The Indian Express: “While we will take a call on contesting Bihar Assembly polls after they are scheduled, one thing is pretty clear — Chirag Paswan is the national president of LJP as per the records of the Election Commission. Chirag Paswan was elected party president in 2019 for five years.”
Khaliq said they had written to the EC last month after Hajipur MP Pashupati Kumar Paras declared himself the new president of LJP. “We have told the EC that the LJP constitution says the party president can be changed midway only in the event of his death or resgination. While the Lok Sabha can allot separate sitting arrangements to the suspended LJP MPs, it does not mean that Chirag can be removed as LJP president.”
The Paras faction’s spokesperson, Shravan Agrwal, said: “It would be very puerile on the part of the Chirag group to think of contesting polls. At present, Pashupati Kumar Paras is the national president and has the right to distribute the symbol. Let them come to EC, we will contest its claims.”
Agrawal said the LJP would not contest the Kusheshwar Sthan and Tarapur seats as they were won by the NDA in the 2020 Assembly elections.
Bypolls in Tarapur and Kusheshwar Sthan have been necessitated by the death by JD(U) MLA Mewalal Choudhary and BJP MLA Shashibhushan Hazari.