What next for Chirag Paswan after Uncle's coup in LJP?
Patna, June 15: The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), though not a major party, has maintained it's presence in Bihar politics. Party chief Chirag Paswan, PM Modi's Hanuman, has now been isolated by a sudden coup in his own party led by his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras.
Five of the LJP's six MPs who revolted against Chirag Paswan have chosen his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras as their leader. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is said to have engineered the coup, by promising a Union Cabinet post to Paras.
Reports say that Nitish Kumar had already been working on the five MPs of the LJP. The rebels Prince Raj, Chandan Singh, Veena Devi and Mehboob Ali Kaiser may also support the Chief Minister.
However, Pashupati Paras, a first time MP from Hajipur, played down the 'rebellion' saying they were not against Chirag Paswan.
"There are six MPs in our party. It was the desire of five MPs to save our party. So, I have not split the party, I have saved it. Chirag Paswan is my nephew as well as party's national president. I have no objections to him," he said.
"I am with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Nitish Kumar is a good leader and Vikas Purush (development man)," he added.
If the situation goes worse, Chirag Paswan could also lose the post as LJP chief.
Why did the MPs split away?
The five MPs of the LJP were upset with Chirag Paswan unilateral decisions to contest solo in the Bihar elections, which were held after the death of his father and party founder Ram Vilas Paswan.
The move was opposed by many but Paswan went on with his decision, which was seen as an ego battle against Nitish Kumar and contested in 138 seats in the 243-member assembly.
Though the LJP won just one seat in the polls, it was instrumental in the JDU's loss in at least 30 seats.
After the polls, the Bihar Chief Minister made it clear that he did not want Chirag to have anything to do with the NDA - or BJP for that matter.
What next for Chirag Paswan?
Soon after the rebellion news broke, Paswan rushed to Paras' Delhi home but failed to meet his uncle. Reportely, Chirag Paswan came up with a compromise formula of installing his mother as national party president in his place, but in vain. Paswan is now left alone in his own party after alienating several key members and a string of setbacks.
The development comes at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is planning to expand his cabinet and Chirag Paswan was seen as a natural choice to replace his father, who died in office on October 8.
But the JDU, which is eyeing a place in the Union Cabinet, reportedly nixed Chirag. The recent rebellion in LJP, a calculative move by five MP's can be seen as Nitish Kumar's revenge against Chirag Paswan.
This is likely to significantly harm Chirag's bargaining power within the National Democratic Alliance.
However, this not the end of the road for Chirag Paswan, as he still continue to be seen as the main heir to Ram Vilas Paswan's legacy and has considerable support among the Passi-Dusadh community, most influential Dalit sub-group in Bihar.