Bihar politics has been thrown a new curveball recently, with leaders of the Lok Janshakti Party coming together to overthrow Chirag Paswan in favour of his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras. Five of the six Lok Janshakti Party MPs in the Lok Sabha joined hands earlier this month to elect the latter as the party's leader in the lower house of Parliament. But there might be more to the story.
According to hints dropped by Paras, the newly elected LJP leader might be headed towards loftier heights. "When I take oath as a union minister, I will resign as leader of the parliamentary party", the politician was quoted as saying recently.
Later comments however appeared to backtrack on the assertion, with Paras telling news agency ANI that the Prime Minister would "decide on who will get the ministerial berth".
While Paras insists that he was elected unanimously, his nephew does not appear to be in agreement. On Friday, an LJP delegation led by Chirag Paswan urged the Election Commission to seek its view before taking a decision on any claim over the party by the other faction.
"I was elected unanimously. Returning Officer gave me the letter for being elected as national president of Lok Janshakti Party. A draft will be submitted to the Election Commission today," Paras said on Friday.
But with both Chirag Paswan and Pashupati Ram Paras claiming control over the party and the two factions taking "action" against each other, a secondary question appears to be their stance on the BJP. If you recall, Paswan had been vocal about his love for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the run up to the Bihar Assembly elections, even as the LJP opted to contest polls on their own.
Paras however blames that decision for many of the party's present problems. "We wanted to contest the election in alliance with NDA but he (Chirag Paswan) didn't agree to it," he said recently.