After the death of Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, organisations associated with the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) want his son and party president Chirag Paswan to be accommodated in the Union cabinet.
The LJP is a part of the BJP-led NDA at the Centre. It has, however, decided to fight the upcoming Assembly elections in Bihar on its own as it does not see eye to eye with the other NDA constituent JD(U) headed by chief minister Nitish Kumar.
The Dalit Sena, an entity established by Paswan senior to work for the Scheduled Castes and affiliated to the LJP, has demanded that Chirag should be made a minister at the Centre. It also wants Ram Vilas Paswan’s widow Reena Paswan to be given a Rajya Sabha seat, Dalit Sena spokesperson Lallan Chandravanshi said.
He said the LJP should get a Cabinet berth as it is a part of the NDA at the Centre.
The BJP, however, has said it is for prime minister Narendra Modi to decided who will be in his Cabinet. The LJP, however, is not a part of the NDA in Bihar, BJP spokesperson Prem Ranjan Patel said. On the demand for the Rajya Sabha seat, he said it will be possible only if all the NDA allies should agree to it. “In Rajya Sabha polls, all the allies play an important role in deciding the names of candidates and the JD(U) is an important ally of the BJP,” Patel said, reported The Print.
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The Dalit Sena is headed by Chirag Paswan’s cousin Prince Raj.
According to some NDA leaders, Ram Vilas Paswan had wanted his son Chirag, a member of Parliament from Jamui, to be included in the Union cabinet after the NDA returned to power in May 2019. The BJP was, however, not keen as it wanted a tall leader like Ram Vilas Paswan to be its Dalit face.