Bust of Paswan in former official residence sparks row

Opportune moment: The Chirag Paswan faction of the LJP feels that an eviction will help him garner sympathy.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Less than a year after his death, erection of a bust of Ram Vilas Paswan, former Union Minister and Lok Janshakti Party founder, at 12 Janpath, his official residence for more than 31 years, has sparked a controversy with some quarters alleging a possible effort by his family to continue to occupy the house.

Paswan died on October 8 from a prolonged illness. The bust was put up a few days ago.

Sources close to his son Chirag Paswan said the family did not want to hold on to the bungalow. Mr. Chirag, who is the MP for Jamui, has been allotted 23 North Avenue and he has asked for an upgrade. The family has established a Trust in Paswan’s name.

‘Supporter’s gesture’

“The bust was put up by Ram Vilas ji’s supporters as a tribute to him. It is ridiculous to say that we must not put up his pictures or bust. And we will take the bust wherever we shift,” a close aide of Mr. Chirag said.

The Chirag faction of the LJP feels that an eviction from 12 Janpath, which has been his father’s house since 1989, will only further help him in garnering sympathy. As part of his “Ashirwaad Yatra”, he has covered 26 districts in Bihar so far.

“Wherever he goes, people are showering a lot of love on him because they feel that after losing his father, his uncle betrayed him,” a leader of the Chirag faction said.

The family, as per the rules of the Directorate of Estates of the Union Urban Development Ministry, had been served notice for vacating the building within 15 days of Paswan’s death. Since 2014, the government has been strict in evicting squatters in the highly coveted Lutyens’ bungalows.

South Avenue bungalow

In a similar situation, Neeraj Shekhar, son of former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar, was evicted from his 3 South Avenue bungalow.

He had managed to hold on to the bungalow long after his father’s death in July 2007. But in December 2014, after the Modi government took over, he was forced to leave the house, though he was a Rajya Sabha member then.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 9:51:06 AM |

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