NEW DELHI: In a bid to garner support for his claim on the presidency of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Chirag Paswan on Sunday announced to launch ‘ashirwaad yatra’ from Hajipur, the constituency his father and party founder Ram Vilas Paswan represented in Bihar. The yatra will start on July 5.
“When my own people have ditched me, I will go out on padyatra from Hajipur on July 5. We will do this for two months. We will celebrate my father’s birthday on July 5 as we used to celebrate,” said Chirag.
The LJP faction led by Chirag Paswan also demanded Bharat Ratna for the party founder. With his mother by the side, Chirag said, “It is nothing less than a Kurukshetra when my own family members ditched me.”
Seeking his mother’s blessing, Chirag said, “Now I am not afraid of anyone with the support of my mother and people. Our doors are always open for all.”
The LJP is currently under the throes of a split as Pashupati Kumar Paras, younger brother of Ram Vilas Paswan, led a coup on his nephew Chirag Paswan with five of six LJP member of parliament (MPs) switching loyalties and choosing Paras over Chirag as their party president last week.
Paras recognised as leader of LJP in Lok Sabha; dissolves state committees
Earlier on Sunday, Paras was recognised as the leader of LJP in Lok Sabha in place of Chirag Paswan after the five of six-party MPs gave a letter in his support.
The Paras-led LJP faction then dissolved the national, state executives and committees of different cells. The party also announced MPs Chaudhary Mahboob Ali Kaisar and Veena Devi as national vice-presidents and MPs Prince Raj and Chandan Singh as national general secretaries.
The Speaker accepted Paras as the floor leader of the LJP in the lower house.
Paras cites ‘lack of democracy’ within party
On Saturday, newly-elected LJP national president Paras had said that Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla found their concern of ‘lack of democracy’ in the party genuine and changed the leadership by replacing Chirag Paswan.
“Yesterday, Chirag Paswan requested the Speaker to review his decision. The Speaker told him that party’s constitution is different than country’s and as per rules, the right decision has been taken,” Paras said.
On Thursday, after the rebel faction of the LJP elected unopposed Paras as the new party president, Chirag Paswan had said that the election was illegal as it was conducted by members of the LJP who were suspended from the party.
He had further said that he believes LS Speaker Om Birla Ji not aware of their party’s constitution and that’s why he declared him as the Leader of the parliamentary party.
The LJP was formed by former Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan in 2000. Paswan, a heavyweight leader in Bihar politics, passed away in October 2020.
(With inputs from agencies)