Existential crisis for Chirag Paswan’s LJP as 175 party leaders and workers join BJP

NEW DELHI: The Lok Janshakti Party faction headed by Chirag Paswan on Tuesday expelled the five MPs of the party who had rebelled against him, while the group led by his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras removed him from the post of the party president.

Both factions moved swiftly to take control of the party a day after Paras, the youngest brother of Paswan’s father and party founder Ram Vilas Paswan, was recognised by the Lok Sabha secretariat as the leader of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) in the House.

While Chirag Paswan has been isolated in the parliamentary party as all other MPs beside him have backed Paras, sources said he continues to draw support from other leaders in the organisation.

The matter is now likely to reach the Election Commission as both factions have claimed to represent the party.

In his first reaction after Paras ousted him, Paswan likened the organization to a mother who should not be “betrayed”.

In a tweet, he said he made efforts to keep the party founded by his father Ram Vilas Paswan and his family together but failed.

पापा की बनाई इस पार्टी और अपने परिवार को साथ रखने के लिए किए मैंने प्रयास किया लेकिन असफल रहा।पार्टी माँ के समान है और माँ के साथ धोखा नहीं करना चाहिए।लोकतंत्र में जनता सर्वोपरि है। पार्टी में आस्था रखने वाले लोगों का मैं धन्यवाद देता हूँ। एक पुराना पत्र साझा करता हूँ। pic.twitter.com/pFwojQVzuo
— युवा बिहारी चिराग पासवान (@iChiragPaswan) June 15, 2021

People are supreme in a democracy, Paswan said and thanked those who have kept faith in the party.

Paswan also shared a letter he had written to Paras, the youngest brother of his father, in March in which he had highlighted his uncle’s unhappiness over a number of issues, including his elevation as the party president.