Pashupati Paras resigns from Union Cabinet, accuses BJP of injustice

Union Minister and Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party chief Pashupati Kumar Paras addresses a press conference, in New Delhi, Tuesday, March 19, 2024.
Union Minister and Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party chief Pashupati Kumar Paras addresses a press conference, in New Delhi, Tuesday, March 19, 2024.

New Delhi | Union Minister Pashupati Kumar Paras resigned on Tuesday as he accused the BJP of doing "injustice" with his Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party by excluding it from the seat-sharing deal with allies for the Lok Sabha polls in Bihar.

Paras's announcement came at a press conference a day after the BJP-led NDA announced its seat-sharing pact and gave five seats to the Chirag Paswan-led LJP (Ram Vilas), ignoring his faction's claims.

Paras made brief remarks at the press conference about his resignation and did not elaborate about his future plans.

The only ally in the Union Cabinet headed by Narendra Modi, he called the prime minister a big leader.

The RLJP president said he was thankful to Modi before expressing his displeasure over the treatment meted out to him. Paras said he had served the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) with honesty and loyalty but received injustice.

"Injustice has been meted out to my party and especially me," he said.

Despite his show of displeasure, Paras made no strong comments against the BJP or any of its leader.

His X handle continued with "Modi Ka Parivaar" suffix to his name, a term used by BJP leaders and supporters to extend their support to the prime minister after opposition leader and Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav had taken a "having no family" jibe at him.

A BJP leader indicated that the party has been willing to accommodate Paras respectably in some other manner but it cannot accommodate other MPs of his party.

However, Paras has been keen to fight polls, opening the prospect of a tie-up with opposition parties.

His party's spokesperson Shravan Agarwal said its leaders will meet soon to decide its next course of action but made it clear that Paras will contest elections.

Though Paras enjoyed the support of five of the six Lok Sabha MPs of the LJP until sometime back, none of them accompanied him at the press conference.

Some of them, sources said, are on a hunt for striking deals with other parties, including the one headed by his estranged nephew Chirag Paswan, to contest the upcoming polls.

Paras may explore the possibility of joining hands with the opposition alliance led by Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar to fight against his nephew in the Hajipur seat.

He represents Hajipur in the outgoing Lok Sabha and Paswan has also indicated that he will be contesting from the seat, considered a pocket borough of his late father Ram Vilas Paswan.

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