Patna: Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) suffered a jolt in Bihar as 208 of its members joined the ruling JD(U) on Thursday. Sources said that those who left the LJP were upset over the party’s poor performance in the 2020 Assembly elections.
The political crisis in the LJP comes at a time when Chirag Paswan has been trying to expand his party’s base in Bihar. Many of those who joined the JD(U) were senior functionaries of the party, including several district heads.
LJP leaders who joined the JD(U) on Thursday were led by senior leader Keshav Singh who was expelled from the LJP for revolting against Mr Paswan after the party’s debacle in the Assembly elections.
“Before Assembly elections, the party came out with a slogan, ‘Bihar first, Bihari first’, but after the demise of veteran leader Ram Vilas Paswan the focus shifted to ‘Chirag first, Family first’,” Mr Keshav Singh said after joining JD(U) on Thursday.
JD(U) president R.C.P. Singh who was also present at the occasion said, “All those who joined the JD(U) were top functionaries in LJP. Our party will benefit from their political experience”.
Meanwhile, Rameshwar Chaurasia, who left the BJP before 2020 Assembly elections and contested on LJP ticket, has also sent his resignation to Mr Paswan. Sources said that he is likely to return to the BJP.
Mr Paswan’s party LJP had contested Bihar polls against Nitish Kumar after breaking away from the NDA. Though it won only one seat during the Assembly polls, assessment done by the JD(U) suggests that the votes cast for LJP caused heavy damage to it.
The BJP had emerged as the largest party in the NDA with 74 seats while its partner JD(U) won 43 seats. Two NDA partners, Hindustani Awam Morcha and Vikasheel Insan Party, managed to win four seats each during the polls.
The JD(U) has been holding Chirag Paswan responsible for its low tally and has been accusing him of “cutting votes” on most of the seats where the party fielded its candidate.
Sources said that the JD(U) leadership had urged the BJP to initiate action against Mr Paswan and his party for aggressively campaigning against Nitish Kumar and fielding candidates against JD(U)’s candidates. As per an assessment, the LJP harmed the JD(U) on 20-30 seats during the polls....