New Delhi, Oct 5 (IANS) The Election Commission on Tuesday assigned new election symbols to the two warring factions of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) -- one led by Chirag Paswan and the other by Pashupati Kumar Paras -- days ahead of the Assembly bypolls in Bihar.
The Chirag Paswan-led faction will now be recognised as Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) with a 'helicopter' symbol while the faction led by Paras will be called the Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party with a 'sewing machine' symbol.
Chirag Paswan and his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras have been at loggerheads with each other since June this year over staking claim to the LJP. On Tuesday, the EC made its decision public and settled the matter.
Since June this year the factions led by Chirag Paswan and Pashupati Paras have challenged each other's claims over the party. Both the factions had written to the EC claiming that the 'bungalow' symbol was their respective election symbol. Chirag had told the EC that the Pashupati Paras-led faction had illegally taken charge of the party.
Following this, the EC had issued a statement saying "None of the two party factions of the Lok Janshakti Party -- LJP (Paswan) and LJP (Paras) -- will be allowed to use the election symbol of the party. At present, both the factions have been given permission as an interim measure with the names of their factions and poll symbols may be allotted to their candidates."
Both the factions of the LJP have decided to field their party candidates in the upcoming bypolls.
At present, the nomination process is underway for the two Assembly by-election seats in Bihar.
The controversy in the LJP started in June this year when 5 MPs had defected from the faction led by Chirag Paswan and shifted to Pashupati Paras' camp and the latter had formed a separate party unannounced. After this, Chirag's uncle Pashupati Paras declared himself as the LJP National President as well as the successor of party founder and his brother late Ram Vilas Paswan.
Earlier, in the Lok Sabha, the faction led by Pashupati Paras was recognized as the Lok Janshakti Party by Speaker Om Birla and he was also made a Union minister in the Modi government.