Lok JanshaktI Party (Ram Vilas) leader Chirag Paswan, son of the late Ram Vilas Paswan, has alleged in Patna that a big Minister in the Union Cabinet had invited him to meet on March 29 and promised that “I should not worry about vacating my house in Delhi and he even spoke to another Minister regarding this and said we would not be evicted from the house.”
But, the very next day, on March 30, the 12, Janpath bungalow, which was allotted to Ram Vilas Paswan in 1990, was vacated with household stuffs, including Paswan’s bust dumped outside the bungalow. Paswan had died in October 2020 and the bungalow was later allotted to Union Railways and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in August 2021. The sprawling 12, Janpath bungalow in the heart of Lutyen’s zone in Delhi, had become synonymous with Ram Vilas Paswan and hub of activities of his Lok Janshakti Party for over three decades.
“On March 29, I got a call from a big Minister in the Central Cabinet to meet him and he not only assured me but promised me that I do not have to worry about vacating the house. He also spoke to another Union Minister in front of me and said we need not vacate the house. I want to ask why he invited me to meet him and made such promise. Had I sought his appointment? When time will come, I will expose his name and the Minister to whom he spoke to”, Mr. Chirag Paswan told media persons after reaching Patna on March 2.
‘Will never bow down’
Mr. Chirag Paswan said he was “humiliated and felt saddened” over the way his house was vacated by the officials”. “Me and my family was ready to vacate the house. We never said we want to occupy 12, Janpath forever as we respect the law. But the manner in which the house was vacated by officials was humiliating and we felt saddened”, added Mr. Chirag Paswan, who is an MP from Jamui (reserved) seat in Bihar. “People of Bihar are watching all these things and they would reply to our humiliation when time will come. Sher ka baccha hun, kabhi haar nahi manunga, jhukunga nahi [I am son of a lion and will never ever accept defeat and bow down]”, he said.
Meanwhile, the buzz in Bihar’s political circles is that the Central minister who had promised Mr. Chirag Paswan that his house would not be vacated and the Minister he spoke to were acting at the behest of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The relations between Mr. Kumar and Mr. Chirag Paswan have gone from bad to worse after the 2020 Assembly elections in which Mr. Chirag Paswan had pitted his party candidates against the Janata Dal (United) to defeat them. Over two dozen JD(U) candidates were said to have lost the lose the polls because of LJP candidates in the fray against them and the party could win only 43 seats in the 243-member Assembly to come at number three position after the RJD and the BJP who won 75 and 74 seats respectively.
Tejashwi slams BJP
However, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, slammed the BJP for evicting Paswan’s family from 12, Janpath bungalow. “Ram Vilas Paswan ji stood with the BJP till his last days like Hanuman. The BJP set the bungalow of Hanuman on fire. This is what one gets in return after supporting the BJP which has already split the party [Lok Janshakti Party of Ram Vilas Paswan]”, said Mr. Yadav.
The LJP faced internal revolt in 2021 when party MP and uncle of Mr. Chirag Paswan, Pashupati Kumar Paras, along with four other parry MPs, parted ways and joined the National Democratic Alliance. Mr. Paras was inducted into the Union Cabinet. Later, the LJP was officially divided into two factions: Mr. Chirag Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) and Mr. Paras-led Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party.