The Election Commission of India on Tuesday allotted separate party names and poll symbols to the two warring factions of the Lok Janshakti Party for the bye-polls in Bihar, reported ANI. One faction is led by Chirag Paswan while the other is headed by Paswan’s uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras, who is also a Union minister.
The poll panel allotted the name Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) and election symbol “helicopter” to Paswan. The faction led by Paras got the name Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party and the “sewing machine” symbol.
Paswan and Paras have been locked in a tussle since June over the party’s leadership. On October 2, the Election Commission had frozen the Lok Janshakti Party symbol ahead of the bye-polls to two Assembly seats in Bihar on October 30.
The Election Commission had asked Paswan and Paras to choose interim names and symbols for the bye-polls by 1 pm on Monday. It also directed both the factions to submit documents supporting their claim to represent the party by November 5.
In its interim order, signed by Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and Election Commissioners Rajiv Kumar and Anup Chandra Pandey, the poll panel said that the directive would continue till they decide on the dispute between the two factions, reported PTI.
Paras said he welcomes the Election Commission’s decision to allot a new name and symbol.
In June, the Lok Janshakti Party had plunged into a crisis after five of its six Lok Sabha MPs rebelled against Paswan. The rebel MPs had told Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla that they have chosen Paras as the party’s leader in Parliament.
The development, effectively a coup against Paswan, came less than a year after his father and former Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan died in October. He was the founder of the Lok Janshakti Party.
After Birla named Paras as the leader of the Lok Janshakti Party in the Lok Sabha, Chirag Paswan had approached the Delhi High Court challenging the move.
On October 1, the High Court had dismissed Paswan’s plea, noting that the Speaker has the power to regulate the internal affairs of the House.