Ramvilas Paswan says son Chirag can decide on LJP in NDA

LJP leader Ramvilas Paswan with his son Chirag Paswan outside Parliament. File photo.  

As the Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP) grapples with the question of continuing in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of Bihar Assembly polls, its top leader and Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ramvilas Paswan on Friday said he had been hospitalised and that he stood by any decision taken by his son Chirag Paswan, who heads the party.

In an earlier tweet, Mr. Paswan denied reports about his illness, claiming that he had been admitted to hospital for a routine check-up. He did not reveal the nature of his illness. He suffers from a pre-existing heart condition for which he had undergone surgery a few years ago.

In a series of tweets, he said his health started deteriorating some time ago during the COVID-19 pandemic but he did not go to a hospital because he, as food minister, had to fulfil his responsibilities. “There was no laxity in the work. I continuously served the country as food minister and made every effort to ensure food reaches on time everywhere,” he wrote. He said he was prodded by his son to go to hospital after he realised that he was unwell.

Mr. Ramvilas Paswan said, “I stand firmly with every decision of his. I am confident that with his youthful thinking, Chirag will take the party and Bihar to new heights”.

Signal to some

The tweets are being seen as a signal to a section in the party which is questioning Mr. Chirag Paswan’s decision to scale up the confrontation with JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Party insiders also claim that this is Mr. Ramvilas Paswan’s way of indicating to the BJP that his son alone should be their port of call.

The State Parliamentary Board of the LJP recently authorised Mr. Chirag Paswan to take a call on whether it should remain in the NDA or contest alone.

Mr. Paswan’s tweets were followed by a host of comments by many party leaders, including the Party State president and Mr. Chirag Paswan’s cousin Prince Raj in his support. Though, old-timers were conspicuous by their silence. Mr. Ramvilas Paswan’s brother Pashupati Nath Paras or party MP Mehboob Ali Kaiser may not be convinced by Mr. Chirag Paswan’s belligerent strategy. Many feel that the party will gain nothing if it goes alone in Bihar polls.

Remains silent

Since his son took over as party president, Mr. Ramvilas Paswan has refrained from speaking on party matters. The only political comment that he made in the last few months has been to express his commitment towards Prime Minister Narenda Modi. The LJP on the same lines has been saying that it has no problem with the BJP. It, however, does not want to fight the polls in alliance with the JD(U). Though, in his capacity as Food Minister, Mr. Ramvilas Paswan did pull up the Bihar government on gaps in allocated quota under the National Food Security Act and the actual use by the State.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 6:41:27 PM |

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