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Paswan’s LJP faces split, rebels announce new outfit

patna Updated: Jun 14, 2019 03:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Patna
Lok Janshakti Party,Ram Vilas Paswan,Satyanand Sharma

Union Minister and Lok Janshakti Party president Ramvilas Paswan is greeting newly elected BJP MP Ramkripal Yadav after NDA’s victory in the Lok Sabha election at party office in Patna. Bihar India on Friday May 24,2019.((Santosh kumar/ Hindustan Times))

A group of disgruntled leaders of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), which was founded by Ram Vilas Paswan in 2000, on Thursday announced their decision to form a new outfit by the name of LJP (Secular) while accusing the union minister of running his party as a private limited company.

The breakaway group was led by LJP’s national general secretary Satyanand Sharma and treasurer Ramesh Chandra Kapoor, who announced their decision at a press conference in Patna.

The disgruntled leaders, numbering over a dozen, also levelled serious allegations of corruption against the party’s leadership and demanded a CBI probe into the same.

“We are highly saddened by the way the Paswans, Ram Vilas, his son Chirag and brother Pashupati Paras, are running the party. The internal democracy has disappeared. The party’s first family does not care for the interests of other leaders, who have been there since its inception. We have now decided to break free and float a democratic outfit where every member and leader will have their fair share,” said Lallan Paswan, one of the disgruntled leaders.

He said that Kapoor would be the new outfit’s mentor under whose guidance it would groom into an independent political party.

The leaders said they would soon write at least one lakh letters to the Prime Minister apprising him of the rampant corruption prevailing in the LJP. “Thousands of party workers and leaders would soon join us in our campaign,” said another disgruntled leader Surendra Choudhary.

The LJP, however, dismissed the accusations and shrugged off the split. Its spokesperson Ashraf Ansari said all the leaders present at the press conference were a liability for the party and had been working towards weakening the party for a long time. “None of them can win elections, but still they bargain hard for tickets. Satyanand Sharma has contested assembly polls twice, but let alone wining, he forfeited his deposit once. In the recently held parliamentary polls, he had sought the party symbol to contest from Nalanda. His demand could not be fulfilled because the seat went to an alliance partner. Since then, he has been engaged in anti-party activities,” Ansari said.

Party insiders, however, said the revolt did not augur well for the LJP as Bihar was headed for assembly polls next year

“If a party’s general secretary and its treasurer are disgruntled and questioning the functioning of the top leadership, it means there is certainly something wrong at the top and it needs to corrected. It is up to Ram Vilas Paswan on how he manages to douse the fire,” said a senior LJP leader.

He said Kapoor and Sharma were deep into the party’s policy making and they had the potential to thwart LJP’s prospects in the forthcoming assembly polls.

First Published: Jun 14, 2019 03:07 IST