Chirag Paswan hurt by BJP’s silence, says ‘my father Ram Vilas Paswan stood by PM Narendra Modi like rock’


New Delhi: Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan for the first time expressed his disappointment on BJP for not standing by his side when he had expected their intervention during the ‘difficult’ times. The LJP leader said that he was ‘hurt’ at the BJP’s silence while he battled his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras to retain control of the party. He added that his relations with the saffron party cannot remain ‘one-sided’ and he will consider all possibilities about his future political steps if attempts to corner him continue.

“Their silence definitely hurts. My father Ram Vilas Paswan and I stood by BJP like a rock, but they’re not there when I expected them in such difficult times,” Chirag Paswan told PTI. He, however, underlined that he retains his faith in Modi, and stated, “But if you are cornered, pushed and forced to take a decision, then the party will consider all probabilities. The LJP will have to take a decision about its political future based on who stood by it and who did not.”

To questions on whether the BJP reached out to him during the current crisis and speculation about its role in the split, he said it was not ‘appropriate’ for the saffron party to keep mum while the JD(U) worked to ‘engineer’ a split in the LJP. The BJP has maintained that the LJP crisis is an internal matter of the regional party.

He alleged that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s party played a ‘visible’ role in splitting his party and has had a history of doing so.
Kumar never wanted a Dalit leader to gain in stature and had earlier tried to weaken the LJP founder and his father, he said, citing a history of the JD(U) wooing LJP leaders to its side.

Amid speculation that his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras, who has led a group of five MPs against Paswan and has been recognised as the LJP leader in Lok Sabha, may be inducted in the Union Cabinet, the two-term MP asserted that if the BJP offers Paras a ministerial berth as an LJP nominee then such a decision will not be acceptable to him. Paras may be inducted as an independent or in any other capacity but his representation as the LJP nominee will not be acceptable to him, Paswan said, adding that it is now for the Election Commission to decide on the rival claims about which faction represents the party.

Ram Vilas Paswan was a Cabinet minister in the Modi government since it came to power for the first time in 2014 and till his death last year.

Chirag Paswan said ‘friends’ from the rival RJD-Congress alliance in Bihar have reached out to him for joining them but added that his priority is not an alliance but to deal with the political and legal battle with the rival faction on hand.

While five of six LJP MPs are with Paras, Chirag Paswan has asserted that over 90 per cent of the party’s office-bearers are with him.



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