Chirag Paswan elected LJP president

Lok Janshakti Party MP Chirag Paswan. File   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

Key NDA ally, the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) heralded a generational shift, with 73-year-old Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan stepping down from the post of national president of the party in favour of his son and two-term MP Chirag Paswan, 37.

The LJP was founded in 2000 by Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, who walked out of the JD (U) following differences with Nitish Kumar and George Fernandes. This is the second dynastic baton change in a socialist party after Akhilesh Yadav replaced his father Mulayam Singh as president of the Samajwadi Party. However, in the latter case, Mr. Mulayam Singh and his brother Shivpal Singh Yadav had resisted the change.

‘Will of the people’

The LJP hand over took place at the national executive meeting of the party at the residence of the senior Mr Paswan, who having fractured his leg, attended the meeting in a wheel chair. As soon as the announcement of Mr. Chirag Paswan’s take over was made, posters congratulating him went up at Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan’s residence. Supporters thronging the house raised slogans, celebrating the announcement.

Asked about dynastic politics, Mr. Chirag Paswan told The Hindu: “I am the last person to comment about nepotism. I am the outcome of nepotism. But eventually, it’s the people of the country who decide your fate, irrespective of your political lineage. It will ultimately boil down to how much you can deliver on your promises. If I don't have the capability and potential, I will be pushed back.”

He said that his father had called for a regime change and a take over by younger leader for sometime now.

“I will speak as a son. My father repeatedly had been saying to me that it is high time that the party should be taken over by a younger leadership considering majority of the population in our country is young. He never said I should take over. He said the same thing in today’s national executive meeting and everyone unanimously agreed on my name,” the younger Mr. Paswan added.

He said just because his father Ramvilas Paswan had stepped down as party chief did not mean that he was retiring from active politics. “He will continue to guide and will remain the supreme leader of the party,” Mr Chirag Paswan said.

Jharkhand test

Speaking after the transition, Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan said he no longer wanted to handle the dual charge of Union Minister and party chief as he was not able to dedicate time for organisational work. “I don’t want Chirag to walk in my shadow. Whatever the party does now, whether positive or negative will be on him,” he said.

The first test for the new party chief will be to negotiate six seats for the LJP in the upcoming Jharkhand Assembly elections.

In 2014, as an NDA ally, the party was given a token seat — Sikaripara, which they lost to the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. Mr. Paswan has already written to BJP President Amit Shah and working President J.P. Nadda listing out the six seats that the party wants.

“It won't be right to say anything right now. We are talking within the NDA forum, discussions are going in a positive direction and I am sure a decision will be arrived at soon,” he added.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Nov 23, 2021 2:12:01 PM |

Next Story