Amid the tussle between the factions led by Chirag Pawan and Pashupati Kumar Paras, the Election Commission (EC) on Saturday decided to freeze the symbol of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP).
The EC said that “neither of the two groups…will be permitted to use the symbol LJP”, news agency ANI reported. It also asked the factions to choose as an interim measure the names of their groups and the “symbols which may be allotted to the candidates set up, if any, by the respective groups”.
The contesting claims to power by the two rival factions came to the fore earlier this year, with both Chirag and his uncle Pashupati Ram Paras claiming control over the LJP and passing orders “expelling” each other.
Paras, an MP, had claimed support of four of the five remaining MPs of the LJP barring Chirag, and removed Chirag as the parliamentary party leader. Paras claimed he was “not breaking the party”, but “saving it”. Thereafter, the Paras faction said it had removed Chirag as LJP chief.
The ‘new’ LJP has announced its intention to return to the NDA in Bihar, reversing Chirag’s decision to walk away from the alliance ahead of the Assembly elections in the state last year.
Chirag, in turn, held a meeting of the LJP national executive on virtual meeting platform Zoom, and announced the expulsion of the five ‘rebel’ MPs from the party. LJP leaders said the resolution had been sent to the Election Commission and the Lok Sabha Speaker.
Chirag also released a letter ostensibly written by him to Paras on March 31, indicating that the latter had been resentful of him since the death of LJP supremo Ram Vilas Paswan in October 2020.
(With ANI inputs)