Chirag Paswan, who is facing a massive feud within his Lok Janshakti Party, on Wednesday blamed the Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) for orchestrating the coup, reported The Indian Express. “A conspiracy was hatched behind my back while I was ill,” Paswan alleged as he addressed the media for the first time since the split in his party.
The LJP plunged into a crisis on Monday when five of its six Lok Sabha MPs rebelled against Paswan and told the Lok Sabha Speaker that they have chosen Pashupati Kumar Paras as the party’s leader in Parliament. Paras is Paswan’s uncle.
Tuesday saw some dramatic developments with the faction led by Paras removing Paswan as the national president of the party. Minutes later, the faction headed by Paswan expelled his uncle and four other MPs who have revolted against him.
Paswan’s comments against the JD(U) come at a time amid speculation that Paras will merge the LJP with Nitish Kumar’s party. Paras had dismissed any such possibility on Monday, but he had claimed that 99% of the LJP workers were unhappy with the change of the party’s status in Bihar and the poor performance in the Assembly elections last year. Paswan’s decision to contest the Bihar Assembly elections separately from the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance is considered to be one of the reasons for his feud with his uncle Paras.
The party won just one out of 243 seats in the Assembly elections in last year’s polls. However, the LJP dented the performance of Kumar’s JD(U), which finished third.
Paswan has defended his move to go solo. “We got huge support of people in the Bihar election, we got 6% votes,” he said, according to NDTV. “There were several reports of JDU trying to break the party. We saw that it was not possible for us to continue in an alliance with JDU... I agree and accept, if LJP would have gone with the JDU and NDA in Bihar, we would have swept the Bihar polls.”
Paswan, who referred to himself as a lion’s son, said he was ready to take the legal route for the cause of the party founded by his father Ram Vilas Paswan. It is going to be a long battle to claim ownership of the LJP, he said.
Paswan, however, said he has “become an orphan after my uncle left me”. He added that he and his mother tried to contact with Paras till Tuesday afternoon. “If you had asked me, I would have made you party’s parliamentary board chief,” he told reporters, according to NDTV. “We may have to fight a long legal battle on how the rebel group elected someone as its chairman.”