19 Mar 2024

Bihar: Pashupati Paras Resigns from Modi Cabinet: Here's What He Said

Pashupati Paras, the former Minister of Food Processing Industries in the Narendra Modi cabinet, tendered his resignation on Tuesday, marking a significant development in Bihar's political landscape.

Paras's decision came amidst the backdrop of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) announcing seat allocations for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Bihar, a day prior to his resignation.

Reports suggest that Paras was informed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday that there was no place for him within the NDA. This decision coincided with the inclusion of Chirag Paswan, who secured five seats within the alliance. It's speculated that Chirag Paswan had demanded either his uncle's inclusion or his own exclusion from the NDA, leading to Paras's departure.

The Reshaping of Political Alliances

The resignation of Paras marks a significant shift in Bihar's political dynamics, notably in the aftermath of the demise of Ram Vilas Paswan in 2020. Following Paswan's passing, there was an anticipation that Chirag Paswan would assume the ministerial position. However, BJP's decision to appoint Pashupati Paras stirred discontent within the Paswan family.

Chirag Paswan, expressing his dissatisfaction, found himself marginalized within the party, while Paras took the helm. However, the tables turned swiftly, with Paras finding himself isolated following the NDA's seat-sharing announcement.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Paras expressed his discontent, stating that he felt unjustly treated within the NDA alliance.

Paras's Future Moves

When questioned about his future political affiliations, Paras asserted that a decision would be made following consultations with party members.

Pashupati Paras's Political Journey

Paras boasts over four decades of political experience, initially serving under Ram Vilas Paswan's leadership within the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP). Following his departure from the party with five MPs, Paras assumed the presidency of LJP.

His political career began in 1978 when he was elected as an MLA from the Alauli assembly seat in Khagaria district. He continued to rise through the ranks and eventually became a part of Nitish Kumar's cabinet in Bihar in 2017.

Current Political Landscape in Bihar

The distribution of Lok Sabha seats within the NDA reflects a delicate balancing act, with BJP securing 17 seats, JDU 16, LJP (R) five, and one seat each allocated to Upendra Kushwaha and Jitan Ram Manjhi. However, reports suggest dissatisfaction among Kushwaha and Manjhi over the allocation of seats, indicating potential ripples within the coalition.

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