Th Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) is on the brink of collapse as the result of a feud between Chirag Paswan and his uncle Pashupati Nath Paras in Bihar. Paswan, who has had a strong grip over the LJP since his father Ramvilas Paswan passed away, is no longer the leader of the LJP in the Lok Sabha, the National President of the LJP, and the President of the LJP parliamentary board. He was removed from all the posts within two days in a high voltage drama led by his uncle and the late Ramvilas Paswan’s younger brother Paras. The coup within the LJP took place after five of six MPs agreed to back Paras’ move against Chirag Paswan.
How Was Paswan Isolated?
The move against Chirag Paswan started last week on Saturday when his uncle Pashupati Nath Paras, a Member of Parliament from Hajipur, decided to kick Paswan out from the party and remove him from all the posts that he had taken over from his father.
The deep division within the party was clearly visible on Tuesday – June 15 – when Paras called an emergency meeting in Patna and removed Paswan from the post of president of the LJP and handed over the charge to senior vice-president Suraj Bhan. Bhan will work as an interim president until a new president is appointed.
Removing Paswan from the post, the party said during the meeting that one man cannot hold more than one post. Paras’ supporters declared that a fresh elections for the post of LJP President will be held within a week.
How Did The Coup Against Paswan Unfold?
The coup began last week on Saturday, June 13, when Paras met party leaders in Patna and decided to revolt against Paswan.
The next day on June 14, five LJP MPs – Paras, Prince Raj, Chandan Singh, Veena Devi and Mehboob Ali Kesha – met with Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla in Delhi. In a letter to the speaker, the rebelling MPs said that they have removed Paswan as the party leader in Lok Sabha and unanimously elected Paras as the new leader for the house at the LJP parliamentary board meeting.
Was Nitish Kumar Behind The Coup?
The LJP MPs launched this coup at the behest of Bihar’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was eager to exact revenge since the previous assembly elections. During the 2020 Bihar assembly elections, Paswan had fiercely targeted Kumar and despite being an ally of the BJP, had fielded candidates against Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal-United (JDU), which cost him dearly.
According to sources, JDU leader Lalan Singh and Bihar Assembly Deputy Speaker Maheshwar Hazari were also involved in Paswan’s exit plan. It is believed that one of the BJP leaders from Bihar and JDU’s Lalan Singh were both in touch with Paras regarding the issue. Paras, who is considered close to CM Nitish Kumar, is also believed to have pursued the coup against Paswan to cite his disapproval of him contesting elections against the JDU in the last assembly polls.
Dismissing the rumours of the LJP’s collapse, Paras has categorically said that the party will continue to function as usual and will work with the NDA.
What Is Next For Paswan?
The split in the LJP has made it clear that Paswan’s role in his late father’s party has ended for now. Political experts say that he can go to court or the Election Commission against his uncle Paras’ strike, but it won’t help him as the speaker’s endorsement has already strengthened the Paras faction’s move.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Chandra Mishra has invited Chirag Paswan to join the Congress-RJD alliance in Bihar in order to give a befitting reply to the NDA.