In the latest development in the LJP infighting, leader Chirag Paswan on Wednesday appointed Raju Tiwari as party's Bihar unit president in place of his cousin Prince Raj.
Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan on Wednesday blamed Janata Dal (United) for engineering the split in his party and rejected the decisions taken by the faction headed by his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras, saying the party's constitution does not authorise them any such power.
In his first interaction with media after the split in the party, he struck a combative note by describing himself as "sher ka beta" (lion's son) and asserted that he will fight for the cause of the party founded by his father Ram Vilas Paswan.
Paswan accused the JD(U) for working to split his party even when his father was hospitalised last year, and alleged that a conspiracy was hatched recently behind his back as he lay ill.
He, however, steered clear of questions regarding the role of the BJP in the development and added that what has happened is also an internal matter of his party for which he will not target others.
He replied wryly when asked if "Hanuman" who is in trouble now will seek help from "Ram", a reference to his projection of his relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Bihar assembly polls as that between the two famous characters of epic Ramayan.
"If Hanuman has to seek help from Ram, then what good is Hanuman and what good is Ram," he said in Hindi.
It is going to be a long battle, Paswan said, as the group headed by him fights the faction of five other party MPs, led by Paras, to claim ownership of the LJP.
The JD(U), he alleged, had been working to cause a split in the party even when his father was alive. Targeting the party, he said it has always worked to divide Dalits and weaken its leaders. The LJP draws its support from Paswans, the largest Dalit caste in Bihar.
"A conspiracy was hatched behind my back while I was ill," Paswan said. He had recently suffered from typhoid.
The 38-year-old MP from Jamui expressed determination to take on the rival group while also taking swipe at his paternal uncle without using any strong words to attack him.
"I did not feel orphaned when my father died last year. I do feel now," he said, adding that he had expected his uncle to play the role of the family's patriarch but was instead abandoned by him.
"For that I would have to bow before Nitish Kumar. I could not do that. My uncle played no role in the election campaign," he said and rejected accusations from the rival group that he took unilateral decisions during the polls.
"All decisions they have taken are in contravention of the party's constitution," he said, accompanied by a number of senior party leaders.
Though the LJP played the role of spoiler for the JD(U) in the assembly polls in over 35 seats, it itself won only one seat and the lone MLA later defected to Kumar's party.