NEW DELHI: Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan on Wednesday blamed Janata Dal (United) for engineering the split in his party and rejected the decisions taken by the faction headed by his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras, saying the party’s constitution does not authorise them any such power.
In his first interaction with media after the split in the party, he struck a combative note by describing himself as “sher ka beta” (lion’s son) and asserted that he will fight for the cause of the party founded by his father Ram Vilas Paswan.
Paswan accused the JD(U) for working to split his party even when his father was hospitalised last year, and alleged that a conspiracy was hatched recently behind his back as he lay ill.
He, however, steered clear of questions regarding the role of the BJP in the development and added that what has happened is also an internal matter of his party for which he will not target others.
He replied wryly when asked if “Hanuman” who is in trouble now will seek help from “Ram”, a reference to his projection of his relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Bihar assembly polls as that between the two famous characters of epic Ramayan.
“If Hanuman has to seek help from Ram, then what good is Hanuman and what good is Ram,” he said in Hindi.
It is going to be a long battle, Paswan said, as the group headed by him fights the faction of five other party MPs, led by Paras, to claim ownership of the LJP.
The JD(U), he alleged, had been working to cause a split in the party even when his father was alive.
Targeting the party, he said it has always worked to divide Dalits and weaken its leaders.
The LJP draws its support from Paswans, the largest Dalit caste in Bihar.
“A conspiracy was hatched behind my back while I was ill,” Paswan said.
He had recently suffered from typhoid.
The 38-year-old MP from Jamui expressed determination to take on the rival group while also taking swipe at his paternal uncle without using any strong words to attack him.
“I did not feel orphaned when my father died last year.
I do feel now,” he said, adding that he had expected his uncle to play the role of the family’s patriarch but was instead abandoned by him.
Paswan recalled his decision to walk out of the ruling NDA in Bihar to take on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, and said many wanted him to opt for a life of comfort and not struggle by allying with him.
“For that I would have to bow before Nitish Kumar.
I could not do that.
My uncle played no role in the election campaign,” he said and rejected accusations from the rival group that he took unilateral decisions during the polls.
They never made any such claim then, Paswan said and rejected their decision to remove him as the LJP president, saying its constitution says that a new party chief can be appointed only in the case of the incumbent’s death or resignation.
“All decisions they have taken are in contravention of the party’s constitution,” he said, accompanied by a number of senior party leaders.
Though the LJP played the role of spoiler for the JD(U) in the assembly polls in over 35 seats, it itself won only one seat and the lone MLA later defected to Kumar’s party.
Paswas, however, asserted that the polls were a “big win” for his party as it got nearly six per cent votes.
Paswan has also contested Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla’s decision to name Paras as the leader of the party in the House, saying it is “contrary” to the constitutional provisions of his organisation.
In a letter written on Tuesday, Paswan also informed Birla of the party’s decision to expel five MPs, who have joined hands against him, and urged the Speaker to review the earlier decision and issue a new circular naming him as the LJP leader in the Lok Sabha.
“Since Article 26 of the Constitution of Lok Jan Shakti Party empower Central Parliamentary Board of the party to decide who would be Leader of our Party in Lok Sabha, hence, the decision of announcing Sh.
Pashupati Kumar Paras MP as Leader of LJP party in the Lok Sabha is contrary to provision of Constitution of our party,” he wrote.
Paras has been elected as their leader by the five of party’s six MPs in place of Paswan.
Both factions have now moved to control the party and project their group as the real LJP, founded by Paswan’s father Ram Vilas Paswan.
While the wing led by Chirag Paswan has expelled the five MPs from the party, the rival group has removed him as its president.
Asked about a woman’s allegation of sexual exploitation against his cousin Prince Raj, one of the rebel MPs, that he had mentioned in the letter which was released by him on Tuesday, Paswan said he had advised both of them to approach police.
Paswan’s letter addressed to Paras was written in March and was released on Tuesday.
Some workers of the LJP youth wing, Delhi also protested outside Paras’ residence with its chief Bikas Singh accusing him of “backstabbing” Chirag Paswan.
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