Newly sworn-in Union Minister Pashupati Kumar Paras, brother of the late Dalit leader Ram Vilas Paswan, today asserted he was the National Chairperson of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and that he was willing to fight his nephew Chirag Paswan over the matter.
An MP from Bihar's Hajipur, Mr Paras has earlier been MLA seven times, even serving as a minister in the state government.
"My elder brother, the late Ram Vilas Paswan is my god. I'll handle both the organisation and the ministry, I am the national Chairperson of the LJP," Mr Paras said, thanking the Prime Minister for including him in his team.
"I'm ready to fight Chirag in every way -- in the people's court, the country's court, and in god's court. He had finished off democracy in the party. That's why the five of us MPs separated."
Among the 43 persons who are set to join Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new-look team, Mr Paras's inclusion was strongly objected to by Mr Paswan.
"Pashupati Kumar Paras has already been expelled from the Lok Janshakti Party for rebellion and cheating the top leadership. The party registers its strong reservation against his inclusion in the Central team of ministers," Chirag Paswan tweeted earlier today.
He had even taunted his uncle yesterday during a press conference when asked about his joining the central ministerial team and said he had written to the Prime Minister on the matter.
In a party coup last month, Mr Paswan was removed as LJP President by some rebel MPs, including Mr Paras. Mr Paswan retaliated by expelling his uncle and the four other rebel MPs.