Amid NDA loss in Bihar, LJP retains its fiefdom

Amid NDA loss in Bihar, LJP retains its fiefdom

 Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) parliamentary board chairman Chirag Paswan poses with the party's newly elected MP from Samastipur, Prince Raj, during a press conference in Patna, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. (PTI Photo)

The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) retained the Samastipur Lok Sabha seat in Bihar after its candidate Prince Raj trounced the Congress nominee Ashok Ram by 1,02,090 votes.

Prince is the nephew of Union minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan. He is the son of Paswan’s younger brother Ram Chandra Paswan, who was LJP MP from Samastipur but his untimely demise necessitated the bypoll in the reserved parliamentary constituency.

The LJP victory in the Lok Sabha by-election was a saving grace for the NDA as it lost four of the five Assembly constituencies in Bihar which went to polls on October 21.

Prince Raj had earlier made an unsuccessful bid to enter state Assembly but he lost the 2015 polls from his father’s fiefdom. However, on Thursday, he made his debut as Lok Sabha MP. On Friday, more surprise was in store for him as he was appointed the president of the Bihar LJP.

“Prince has shown leadership qualities. We have, therefore, appointed him as head of the LJP’s state unit in Bihar,” said Chirag Paswan, son of Ram Vilas Paswan. Chirag is chairman of the LJP Parliamentary Board and is a second-term MP from Jamui.

Paswans have often been charged with running the party as a private limited company as yet another brother of Ram Vilas, Pashupati Kumar Paras, is also an LJP MP from Hajipur, the seat earlier represented by his elder brother for four decades. Ram Vilas is himself a Rajya Sabha member from Bihar.