Son rise in LJP: Chirag takes over party's command

Newly-elected President of Lok Janshakti Party Chirag Paswan being felicitated, in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

Ram Vilas Paswan's son Chirag Paswan took over the command of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) on Tuesday as senior Paswan stepped down as party president and passed on the baton to his heir apparent.

Thirty-seven-year-old Chirag, a two-term MP from Jamui Lok Sabha seat in Bihar, was unanimously elected as the new president of the LJP by the party's national executive committee at its meeting here.

With Chirag's election as the LJP president, Paswan, a Union minister in Modi government and an NDA partner, is now in the party patriarch role.

“Our national executive unanimously elected Chirag as the party president. I was not able to give adequate time to the party affairs. I wanted the younger generation to take the party's responsibility. I hope Chirag will meet our expectations and take the party to newer heights,” Paswan said at a press conference while announcing Chirag's election as the LJP president.

Paswan, who has been holding the reigns of the LJP since he founded it in Bihar in 2000, had recently signalled a generational shift in his party.

“I have been elected as party president, it doesn't mean that the father is going away from active politics. He will continue to remain my leader, guide and a source of inspiration. I will try my best to meet his aspirations and my party,” Chirag said.

He said further expansion of the LJP's base beyond Bihar and becoming a prominent voice of the country's youth will remain on the top of his priorities as the party's president.

“I will share a detailed roadmap of my future plans and visions on the foundation day of my party to be celebrated on November 28,” he added.

Though Chirag has been made LJP chief now, he has been taking key decisions for the party since 2014. According to party sources, the LJP moved out of the UPA's fold and joined the BJP-led NDA ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections on Chirag's advice.

“From now on, every decision will be taken by Chirag. While he will be the one to take credits for all success, he will also be the one to take responsibility for all failures. I do not want him to even live under my shadow,” Paswan said when asked as to what role he would now play in the party after stepping down as its president.

Chirag's election as the LJP president comes within a fortnight after his nephew Prince Raj, a Lok Sabha MP from Samastipur, was appointed as party's Bihar unit president.

Party's leadership gets a younger face at a time when Bihar is gearing up for the Assembly polls next year.

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