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Is PM Modi's Letter on Paswan's Death Anniversary the Validation Chirag Was Seeking in Tussle for Father's Legacy?

LJP leader Chirag Paswan will organise an event in Patna on September 12 to mark the first death anniversary of his father and Dalit stalwart Ram Vilas Paswan.

LJP leader Chirag Paswan will organise an event in Patna on September 12 to mark the first death anniversary of his father and Dalit stalwart Ram Vilas Paswan.

Ram Vilas Paswan's death anniversary has assumed heightened political significance for Chirag, who is embroiled in a bitter dispute with his uncle to claim his father's legacy.

LJP leader Chirag Paswan will organise an event in Patna on Sunday to mark the first death anniversary of his father and Dalit stalwart Ram Vilas Paswan. Paswan has said that he has invited top national leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Congress president Sonia Gandhi for the event.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi penned a heartfelt letter on the death anniversary of Ram Vilas Paswan who was also his former cabinet colleague. Posting the letter on Twitter, Chirag Paswan thanked the Prime Minister for his affection towards the late leader.

Ram Vilas Paswan was a powerful Dalit leader from Bihar and founder of the Lok Janshakti Party. He had died on October 8 last year. His son, Chirag Paswan is going by a traditional calendar to hold the first death anniversary of his father on September 12.

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However, the event has assumed heightened political significance for Chirag Paswan, who is embroiled in a bitter dispute with his uncle and Union Minister Pashupati Kumar Paras to claim the legacy of his father. While his uncle has taken over the reins of the party, Chirag is left isolated with few takers in his own party. Amid all the setback, Chirag is looking forward to not only claim his father’s legacy but also to cement ties with his political opponents.

Invitation to Foes

Among other invitees, Paswan has also invited his political foes including Pashupati Kumar Paras and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for the mega barsi. Chirag Paswan yesterday said that he was desperately seeking an appointment with Nitish Kumar whom he wanted to invite for the ‘barsi’. The Jamui MP said that he was willing to call on the chief minister “even in the thick of the night or early tomorrow morning" and expressed hope that the latter would grace the function in view of the cordial relations Kumar shared with his deceased father.

Last year, Chirag was in a bitter fight with CM Nitish Kumar, and openly criticised the Chief Minister over the Covid-19 situation and development in Bihar. He had walked out of the NDA alliance and pitched candidates against Nitish’s candidates.

Rebel Uncle

LJP leader and Union Minister Pashupati Kumar Paras said he will be attending the death anniversary today. Speaking to PTI, Paras said he was “glad" that Chirag Paswan recently visited his residence and invited him to the event.

Meanwhile, Paras has also planned to organise a mega event at his party office in Patna on October 8 to mark the first death anniversary of Ram Vilas Paswan. He said he will invite the prime minister, Union home minister, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and leaders of all political parties to attend the event.

Paras and Chirag have become bitter rivals as the former took over the reins of the party after a political drama isolating Chirag with few supporters within the party. Chirag tried to take over the party reins from his uncle, but with little success. Chirag also showed disproval against Modi government’s decision to induct Paras in the cabinet.

‘Signs of Rebellion’

With little support from within the party and BJP, Chirag last week met RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav giving signals of political realignment. Though neither of the two denied nor admitted to coming together, their responses indicated that the two may be in the process of reaching some political agenda in the near future.

Recently, Chirag had installed Ram Vilas Paswan’s bust hurriedly after a notice for eviction of the government residence was served to Paswan. The 8-inch-tall bust of Ram Vilas Paswan was installed at the center of the bungalow. BJP in Bihar has opposed the installation of the bust.

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first published:September 12, 2021, 11:49 IST