208 LJP Members Defect to JD(U), Party Calls Them ‘Traitors’
This move comes a day after Rameshwar Chaurasia, a former BJP leader, resigned from the LJP.
The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) on Thursday, 18 February, saw 208 political leaders from its fold defect to the ruling Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) in Bihar. This move comes a day after Rameshwar Chaurasia, a former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and MLA from the Nokha constituency, resigned from the LJP.
JD(U) National President RCP Singh along with state President Umesh Singh Kushwaha announced the induction of the former LJP party members and activists.
Some of the members who quit the party were state-level post holders in Chirag Paswan’s LJP, a party founded by his father, late Ram Vilas Paswan, reported The Hindu.
The defected members blamed Chirag Paswan for the party’s humiliating defeat in the Assembly elections where they only secured one seat out of the total 243.
The JD(U)-led NDA on 10 November returned to power after winning more than 122 seats, securing a fourth term for Nitish Kumar as the chief minister of the state.
One of the biggest hits to the LJP has been the leaving of former state general secretary and former spokesperson of the party Keshav Singh, who has lashed out at Chirag Paswan for running the party like a “corporate house”, and accusing the LJP chief of corruption, reported India Today.
Dinanath Gandhi, Ramnath Raman, and Parasnath Gupta have also quit the party, reported The Hindu.
LJP Calls the Turncoats ‘Traitors’
A press conference was convened by the LJP on Thursday, where MP Chandan Kumar Singh and former MLA Raju Tiwari addressed the issue of defection calling the former party members “traitors”.
"These so-called leaders are traitors who had helped the JD(U) in the Assembly elections and betrayed our party''s agenda of Bihar First, Bihari First," they said indignantly, quoted PTI.
Relations between the two parties have been tense since last year after Chirag Paswan criticised CM Nitish Kumar’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic in the state, as well as the effect of the lockdown on the migrant crisis. Paswan then quit the NDA in a vow to defeat the JD(U), a feat he couldn’t achieve last year.
(With inputs from The Hindu, PTI, and India Today)
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