'BJP's silence definitely hurts', says Chirag Paswan amid LJP feud
Chirag Paswan was removed recently as the party chief by a faction of the LJP headed by his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras.
Chirag Paswan, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader, said on Tuesday he expected the BJP to help sort things during the tussle between the 38-year-old and his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras to retain control of the outfit. "Their silence definitely hurts... My father Ram Vilas Paswan and I stood by BJP like a rock, but they're not there when I expected them in such difficult times," Chirag Paswan told PTI.
Chirag Paswan also said that the relations with the Bharatiya Janata Party "cannot remain one-sided". "But if you are cornered, pushed and forced to make a decision, then the party will consider all probabilities... The LJP will have to make a decision about its political future based on who stood by it and who did not," Chirag Paswan was quoted as saying by the news agency.
Chirag Paswan, the son of party founder Ram Vilas Paswan, said it was not "appropriate" for the BJP to keep quiet while the JD(U) worked to "engineer" a split in the LJP. The BJP, on its part, insists that the LJP crisis is an internal matter of the regional party.
The LJP leader also once again alleged that Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal(United) or JD(U) played a "visible" role in splitting his party and has had a history of doing so. Kumar, he said, never wanted a Dalit leader to gain in stature and tried to weaken his father.
Chirag Paswan was removed recently as the party chief by a faction of the LJP headed by Hajipur MP Paras, prompting Paswan’s loyalists to respond by stripping five rebel parliamentarians of the LJP’s primary membership. The party, which has six MPs but no MLAs, plunged into a crisis after the five lawmakers, including Chirag's cousin, rebelled against Paswan’s leadership and chose Paras as the new leader of the parliamentary party.
Paswan has said he will take out a “Ashirvad Yatra” in Hajipur on July 5 to mark the birth anniversary of his father, who died in October last year. “The march taken out from Hajipur will continue for two months, during which party members will cover all 38 districts, and it will culminate at Patna in the form of a grand rally,” Paswan said after the Sunday meeting of the LJP's national executive in New Delhi.
The two-time MP also asserted that 90 per cent of the national executive members were with him and attended the meeting. “Uncle (Paras) has acted against the party’s constitution along with rest of the MPs and hence the party suspended them all,” he said.
Paras has been recognised as the LJP parliamentary party leader in the Lok Sabha. Paswan met Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla last Saturday and urged him to reconsider his decision to recognise Paras as the parliamentary party leader, saying it was against the party’s constitution. He also said that the party will consider taking the legal route if his demand was not considered by the Lok Sabha Speaker.
On his part, Paras dismissed the meeting as an assembly of a “rented crowd” and said it held no legitimacy. He said the Election Commission will now decide on the matter.