Patna, Nov 17 (PTI) Former Lok Janshakti Party president Chirag Paswan on Friday asserted that his claim to the political legacy of late father Ram Vilas Paswan has been acknowledged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Chirag Paswan made the averment berating uncle and Union minister Pashupati Kumar Paras who will hold a rally later this month in Hajipur, the Lok Sabha seat nurtured by the late leader for decades.
"Who will contest which seat in Lok Sabha polls is a decision for the NDA to take jointly. But my claim on my father's legacy has already been backed by the PM, who is the tallest leader in the coalition," said Paswan.
He was replying to queries from journalists about the proposed rally on November 28 which is being seen as a show of strength by Paras who is the sitting MP from Hajipur, and is miffed at Chirag demanding the seat for his mother.
Paswan, who represents Jamui, also said, "I don't think the people of Hajipur are going to take my uncle's show of strength (shakti pradarshan) seriously. He has been a Union minister for a few years. Never before has he bothered to hold any public program, even in his own constituency." On the other hand, Paswan said his party has been hitting the streets across Bihar.
"Moreover, when the PM, at a recent rally in Telangana, chided Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's ill-treatment towards my father, he took my name and not the one in his cabinet", said Paswan.
He reminded people that it was he, and not his uncle, who was invited by the Centre to receive the Padma Bhushan award conferred posthumously to his father.
The LJP founded by late Paswan was split in 2021, a few months after his death, when Paras, backed by other party MPs, raised a banner of revolt against Chirag.
The LJP has since ceased to exist and respective factions headed by uncle and nephew have been recognised as separate parties. Both are part of the NDA in Bihar where the BJP-led coalition is bereft of a major ally following Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's exit a year ago.
Paswan also charged Kumar, his bete noire, with "blackmailing" the Centre which led to his unceremonious eviction from the bungalow in the national capital which his late father had occupied for decades.
"It has been three years since the assembly polls were held but Nitish Kumar's rants about Chirag model continue. So full of bitterness he is towards me," claimed the young leader.
The allusion was to LJP fielding candidates, many of them BJP rebels, in all seats contested by Kumar's JD(U) in the assembly polls of 2020, which caused the party's tally to crash from more than 70 to less than 50.
Paswan, who then headed LJP, was criticised by his uncle for the brinkmanship. The BJP, which had sought to wash its hands off, was accused of a "conspiracy" by the JD(U) and the mistrust led to the parting of ways in August last year.
Paswan, who remains unsparing in his criticism of Nitish Kumar, also alleged that the longest-serving CM of Bihar was "exposing his own failures" by raising the demand for special category status. PTI NAC NN