Twenty-two leaders of the Lok Janshakti Party resigned from the party on Wednesday expressing anger over not getting tickets for the Lok Sabha elections, ANI reported.

The leaders include former Bihar minister Renu Kushwaha, former MLA and the party’s national general secretary Satish Kumar, state organisation minister Ravindra Singh, Ajay Kushwaha, Sanjay Singh and state unit general secretary Rajesh Dangi.

The rebel leaders will now support the Opposition INDIA bloc, Kumar told the news agency.

“When such important elections are there in the country, the LJP supremo [Chirag Paswan] has given tickets to such people that the party workers are stunned,” he said. “The people who used to shout slogans ‘Hail Chirag Paswan’ day and night and hoped for a ‘new Bihar’ have been betrayed, their aspirations crushed.”

Ravindra Singh, the party’s organisation secretary, alleged that party chief Chirag Paswan had “sold the tickets”.

“Chirag Paswan has played an emotional game with the people of Bihar,” ANI quoted Ravindra Singh as saying. “When he got five seats due to our hard work, he sold all those tickets. People of Bihar will give him an answer.”

The Lok Janshakti Party, which is part of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s National Democratic Alliance, is contesting five seats out of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. The party is contesting from Vaishali, Hajipur, Samastipur, Khagaria and Jamui.

The party had plunged into a crisis in June 2021 when five of its six Lok Sabha MPs rebelled against Chirag Paswan and told Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla that they had chosen Pashupati Kumar Paras as the party’s leader in Parliament. Birla had accepted Paras as the party’s floor leader in the Lok Sabha.

After this, the party split into two: the Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) and the Paras-led Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party.

On March 19, Paras resigned as a Union minister. He said that “injustice” had been done to his faction. His faction was not given any seats by the National Democratic Alliance as part of the seat-sharing agreement in Bihar.