EC barred LJP’s name and symbol ahead of elections, amid clashes between Chirag and Paras Paswan

Chirag and Paras

Patna: As the battle for the use of the Lok Janshakti Party name and symbol (a ‘bungalow’) between former President of the Lok Janshakti Party, Chirag Paswan and his uncle Pashupati Paras continues, the election commission has barred the use of name and symbol ahead of forthcoming by polls to the Kusheshwar Asthan and Tarapur seats in Bihar on October 30.

The poll body was responding to competing claims over the two by Chirag Paswan and his uncle Pashupati Paras and said that until it could decide who holds the support of a majority of party members, “none is that recognised political party and… the decision of the Commission shall be binding on all such rival sections”.

Paswan and Paras have been asked to give separate names and symbols for the by polls by 1 pm Monday.

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.

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