Chirag Paswan Appoints Raju Tiwari as Bihar LJP President
Raju Tiwari replaces Prince Raj, who is one of the five MPs who rebelled against the party.
Amid the crisis in the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), its leader Chirag Paswan on Wednesday, 16 June, appointed Raju Tiwari as the party's Bihar unit president in place of Prince Raj, reported ANI. The latter is one of the five MPs who rebelled against the party.
Raj had been appointed as the new LJP chief in Bihar in October 2019 in place of party leader Pashupati Kumar Paras.
‘Attempts to Break LJP Even When Father Was in ICU’
In a press conference on Wednesday, Paswan said that efforts were going on to break the party even when his father, Ram Vilas Paswan, was in the ICU.
“He (Ram Vilas Paswan) spoke to my uncle from the ICU and asked him why stories of differences within the party leadership were going on,” Paswan was quoted as saying while briefing the media at his residence.
His remarks come two days after five Lok Sabha MPs of the party rebelled against him, with the coup led by his uncle Paras. On Tuesday, Paswan was removed as the national president of the party, while the faction led by him expelled the five rebel MPs.
Paswan Blames Nitish Kumar’s JD(U)
Saying that he tried his best to keep the party and the family together, Paswan also pointed fingers at Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United), saying the party was working to engineer a split in LJP even when his father was alive.
“During the Bihar elections, even before and after that, some people, especially Janata Dal (United), were continuously trying to break our party,” he reportedly said.
“I am Ram Vilas Paswan’s son. If I wasn’t cowed down to contest the Bihar polls alone, then I am not afraid of anything... I was looking up to my uncle (Paras) when my father and other uncle passed away... I didn’t become an orphan when my father passed away. But I did, when my uncle did this.”Chirag Paswan
The LJP leader also sought to clarify that the appointment of the leader of Lok Sabha is a decision taken by the parliamentary committee, not by sitting MPs. He further refuted his removal as LJP's national president, saying the post-holder can only be removed if he/she dies or resigns, as per the party's constitution.
Paswan also wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Tuesday, saying that the decision of announcing Paras as the leader of LJP in Lok Sabha is “contrary to provision of Constitution of our party.”
“It is requested to review decision dated 13.06.2021 and to issue new circular in favour of Chirag Paswan MP as Leader in Lok Sabha of Lok Janshakti Party,” he wrote.
Paras Hits Back at Paswan
Meanwhile, Paras on Wednesday lashed out at Paswan, saying that the fact that he did not agree to contest the Bihar Assembly polls as part of the National Democratic Alliance was a reason for the LJP’s problems.
"During the 2019 parliamentary election, I was the one who spearheaded the campaign and achieved unbelievable success. We won six out of six seats in Bihar and our vote percentage was highest compared to other political parties in the country," Paras said, according to IANS.
Despite that, he said Chirag Paswan had him removed from the post of LJP state president.
“Chirag was the President of the Parliamentary Board then and took the post of state President from me illegally," he alleged, claiming that this was the actual reason that differences arose between him and his nephew.
The crisis in LJP has surfaced around eight months after Paswan took over the reins of the party following the demise of LJP founder and his father Ram Vilas Paswan.
The five rebel MPs are Pashupati Paras (Hajipur), Chandan Kumar Singh (Nawada), Mehboob Ali Kaiser (Khagaria), Veena Devi (Vaishali), and Prince Raj (Samastipur).
Paras was elected as the LJP parliamentary party leader in Lok Sabha on Monday and later recognised as such in an official notification.
(With inputs from ANI and IANS.)
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