Union Minister and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) President Ram Vilas Paswan
Patna/Chennai: A group of disgruntled leaders of Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP announced launch of a new outfit, accusing the leadership of reducing the party to a "private limited company."
Paswan played down the development, saying "let them go".
Led by Lok Janshakti Party national general secretaries Satyanand Sharma and Anil Kumar Paswan, and Treasurer Ramesh Chandra Kapoor, the rebel leaders announced the formation of LJP (Secular).
They alleged that the LJP has limited itself to "giving tickets to outsiders with deep pockets and furthering the interests of the family that controls the party".
Asked about it, Paswan, who is Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister, told reporters in Chennai, "It is good, let them go."
He refuted the breakaway faction's allegations of corruption inside the LJP and said the party did its best in supporting Sharma in elections, but he could not win.
"I have great regard for everybody. He (Sharma) lost two times. Last time all my party people were telling me to give ticket to somebody else.
"I told them he is a poor person let him fight and we will see. We tried our level best, but he lost.. now they have gone out, it is good. Let them go," the minister said.
Paswan said he was hearing the allegation of corruption for the first time, adding, "You see my pass book and bank balance, I have nothing. I have no house in Delhi or Patna."
LJP Bihar unit president and Hajipur MP Pashupati Kumar Paras too dismissed the development and said, "Sharma should have also disclosed that on the day he enacted the farce he was slapped with an order of expulsion from the party."
"Sharma has been charged with indulging in anti-party activities at Jamui, parliamentary board chairman Chirag Paswan's constituency, in Lok Sabha polls.
"All those who claim to be with him had been, in fact, expelled on similar charges much before," Paras claimed.