Both Paras, Chirag factions can’t use LJP name, symbol for now: ECI

The commission also said that the two factions can use free symbols available to field their candidates for the bypolls

The Election Commission on Saturday passed an order saying that both factions of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), led by Union Minister Pashupati Kumar Paras and Lok Sabha MP Chirag Paswan, would not be allowed to use the party’s name or symbol for the upcoming Bihar Assembly by-polls. 

The interim order would cover the period of the by-elections to Kusheshwar Asthan and Tarapur Assembly constituencies and continue till the EC makes a final determination of the dispute, the order said. 

The two sides had staked claim to the LJP name and symbol, but with the last date for nominations of candidates for the by-polls being October 8, the EC said that the “time available is not adequate to ensure the due process”. Mr. Paswan had in his oral submission on October 1 sought a decision before October 8, the order said. The elections were announced on September 28 and polling is scheduled for October 30. 

The EC said “…in order to place both the rival groups on even keel and to protect their rights and interests, and going by the past precedence,” both groups would not be permitted to use the LJP name and “bungalow” symbol, which is reserved for the party in Bihar.

The two groups could choose names of their own and pick symbols from the list of available symbols notified by the EC, the EC said. The groups were asked to submit the names and three choices of symbols by Monday afternoon. In addition, they were asked to submit documents supporting their claim to represent the party by November 5. 

After the death of LJP founder Ram Vilas Paswan last year, his son, Mr. Chirag Paswan, and his brother, Mr. Paras, both staked claim to the party leadership. Mr. Paras wrote to the EC on June 14 claiming to be the LJP leader in Parliament, the order stated. Mr. Chirag Paswan informed the EC in a series of letters about the party suspending five MPs, including Mr. Paras. Mr. Chirag Paswan reiterated his claim of being the party president on September 10, the EC said.  

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