PATNA: Pashupati Kumar Paras, who was "elected", unopposed, uncontested the new national president of the LJP here on Thursday, announced that he would quit the office of parliamentary party leader after becoming Union minister. He said he would honour the provisions in the LJP Constitution which provides for 'one man, one post'.
Paras, uncle of Chirag Paswan, appeared confident of being inducted into the Union Cabinet and promised, "The day I assume the office of Union Minister, I will quit the leadership of parliamentary party (Jis Din Mantri Pad grahan Karoonga,sansadiya dal neta ka pad chor doonga)".
His statement confirmed reports about expected cabinet expansion of Narendra Modi led government and a berth assured to the LJP. Ram Vilas Paswan, LJP founder was minister for food and consumer affairs till his death on October 8, 2020.
Paras claimed he was elected unopposed as the president of the party. Four out of five members of Lok Sabha who had deserted Chirag Paswan were present with him along with the working president, Suraj Bhan Singh.
Prince Raj Paswan, member of Lok Sabha from Samastipur, was not present. An FIR has been filed by a woman leader of his party with Delhi police charging Prince Raj Paswan with sexual assault.
The newly elected LJP chief said he would follow the path shown by LJP founder, Ram Vilas Paswan and would protect the interests of the women, weaker sections, minorities and dalits. He claimed his elder brother had taught him to defend the weak against the strong.
He claimed 71 members of the national executive committee supported his candidature as party president for which ten sets of nomination papers were submitted earlier in the day.
Chandan Singh, LJP MP from Nawada while proposing the name of Paras alleged Chirag had destroyed the party. "There is no betrayal in the party, but LJP was being reinvented for development of Bihar. Party constitution also suggests election of president every two years, no one can be allowed to be party chief for life long", he said.
Meanwhile, Prem Chandra Mishra, senior Congress legislator on Thursday appealed to Chirag to join the Grand Alliance led by Tejaswhi Prasad Yadav and jointly campaign in Bihar for 'the rights of the needy'. Shivanand Tiwari, vice-president of the RJD also extended invitation to Chirag to join hands with the Grand Alliance against the NDA.