Chirag Paswan warms to party reunion on father’s death anniversary


Amid the tug of war to claim the Lok Janshakti Party legacy, a two-page message by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the presence of estranged uncle and Union Minister Pashupati Kumar Paras in Patna on Sunday for the event marking the first death anniversary of party founder Ram Vilas Paswan warmed up party leader and MP Chirag Paswan for a future reunion in the family and in the NDA as well.

Mr. Modi also spoke to Mr. Chirag Paswan, remembering his father’s contribution to politics.

Several leaders cutting across party lines too reached Mr. Chirag Paswan’s residence in Patna to offer their tributes to the departed soul, but Chief Minister Nitish Kumar chose to offer his condolence in a one-line message. For the past few days, Mr. Chirag Paswan is said to have tried to meet Mr. Kumar to extend him an invitation for the event but the MP said he was not given time by the Chief Minister.

Mr. Chirag Paswan and Mr. Kumar apparently had a rift since the last Assembly election when the LJP fielded candidates against the JD(U) nominees, causing defeat to many of them.

Also read | Chirag Paswan bristles at possible Cabinet entry for Pasupati Paras

However, Mr. Chirag Paswan thanked the Prime Minister for his letter, saying, “May his affection and blessing to us always remain like this.”

“He [Ram Vilas Paswan] always has his own place in the history of independent India and how he reached the top from a modest background and remained firmly attached to his roots. Whenever he met me, he always spoke about his experiences about the welfare of the deprived sections of the society. He entered politics in the 1960s when the political scenario in the country was completely different and there was predominantly just one ideology in the country. Yet, he chose a different path for him and surprised everyone by winning the Lok Sabha poll in 1977,” wrote the Prime Minister, while terming the first death anniversary of Ram Vilas Paswan an emotional day for him as he not only remembered him as a close friend but also “feels the void he had left in Indian politics”.

‘Bihar’s pride’

“In the six years as a Minister in the NDA government, he [Ram Vilas Paswan] took many effective steps in the field of consumer rights and public distribution system,” Mr. Modi said. Further describing Ram Vilas Paswan as a “great son of nation, Bihar’s pride and a strong voice of social justice” , Mr. Modi said Paswan’s life “can teach a lot to young aspiring politicians.”

“For the young who wish to join politics or serve the nation through politics, Ram Vilas Paswan’s life can teach them a lot. He always relied on communication and cordiality and that was the reason he maintained good relations with all leaders across party lines and maintained a ubiquitous smile on his face. He was a man of the masses,” the Prime Minister added in his letter, which was shared by Chirag Paswan on social media.

“You have epitomised my father’s entire life in your words to honour his contributions to the society and demonstrated your love for him. May the affection and blessings always remain like this,” wrote Mr. Chirag Paswan.

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