NEW DELHI: Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) MP Chirag Paswan on Wednesday met Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav in Patna, giving rise to speculations of some kind of a political understanding between the two leaders.
Though both Chirag and Tejashwi neither denied nor admitted to their coming together, their responses indicated that the sons of former Union minister late Ram Vilas Paswan and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad respectively may be in the process of reaching some common agenda in the near future.
Chirag Paswan said he met Tejashwi Yadav to invite the latter to an event marking his father Ram Vilas Paswan’s first death anniversary which falls on October 8.
Paswan’s ‘barkhi’ is to be held at the late Union minister’s residence in the city on September 12. Chirag had on Tuesday shared screenshots of the invitation cards printed for the occasion. The names of Paras and cousin Prince Raj, both of whom have turned their backs on him and sought to remain in the NDA, figured among the RSVP.
लोजपा के राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष श्री चिराग पासवान जी ने अपने पिता स्वर्गीय रामविलास पासवान जी की बरसी के मौके पर आयोजित… https://t.co/mEs4E2KxqQ
— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) 1631083711000
The LJP leader is scheduled to meet Lalu Prasad, who is recovering from his poor health, in the national capital on Thursday.
Asked about the purpose of their meeting, both Chirag and Tejashwi said it was a result of “family relations” that went back to ties shared by their fathers.
आज लोजपा के राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष आदरणीय श्री @iChiragPaswan जी ने बिहार के विधायक दल के नेता प्रतिपक्ष श्री… https://t.co/Y75Q6wgHyO
— Lok Janshakti Party (@LJP4India) 1631089326000
“I still remember having learnt some of my early lessons in managing an election campaign from late Ram Vilas Paswan in the assembly polls of 2010 which he had fought along with my father Lalu Prasad,” Tejashwi said.
“Chirag said that he is scheduled to meet Lalu ji at Delhi tomorrow. If father’s health permits, he may even come down to Patna to attend the barkhi (function held upon one year of death),” the he said.
Tejashwi said Lalu Prasad’s imprisonment, besides poor health, prevented him from attending Paswan’s funeral last year.
Asked about his contention that Chirag, who has been cornered in his own party following a split engineered by uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras, should consider crossing over to the Grand Alliance headed by the RJD, Tejashwi said, “Nothing remains to be said by me when Lalu ji himself has expressed the wish that both of us come together.”
While Tejashwi threw a hint, Chirag gave a cryptic smile.
Chirag, who is a Lok Sabha MP from Jamui, said, “I must make it clear that today’s meeting between me and Tejashwi bhai has nothing to do with politics. Had my father been alive, he would have certainly liked Lalu ji and his family to be a part of any function taking place in my family. I am just carrying forward the tradition.”
Chirag has been left cornered in the party floated by his father even as his rebellious uncle has landed a Union cabinet berth.
He was asked whether he has also extended an invitation to chief minister Nitish Kumar, towards whom his hostile stance has become a part of contemporary political folklore. “I have sought an appointment with the chief minister. Making a demand on his time is tough, especially when it involves me,” the LJP leader remarked sarcastically.
Yadav, who is the leader of the opposition in the assembly, indirectly referred to the matter and said, “On such occasions, one must not hesitate in taking some time off to meet people.”
Convicted in several fodder scam cases, Prasad was released from jail earlier this year upon obtaining bail from the Jharkhand High Court. He has since been convalescing in the national capital, occasionally interacting with party workers here through video conferencing.
(With inputs from PTI)