LJP MP Chirag Paswan met RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav in Patna on Wednesday to invite the latter to an event marking his father Ram Vilas Paswan’s first death anniversary. While the meeting triggered fresh speculation of a tie-up between the LJP and RJD, Chirag sought to downplay it, saying that their meeting was a result of “family relations” that went to ties shared by their fathers.
Chirag, who will also meet Tejashwi’s father Lalu Prasad Yadav on Thursday to invite him to the event scheduled on September 12, said: “No political meaning should be taken out of such meetings. My father shared a great relationship with Lalu-ji and they respected each other a lot. I have invited Tejashwi-ji as part of our tradition.”
On the other hand, Yadav, when asked if Chirag will join hands with the RJD, said: “Nothing remains to be said by me when Lalu ji himself has expressed the wish that both of us come together,” while Chirag smiled cryptically.
Last month, Lalu Prasad had called Chirag a “leader of the masses”. He had talked about his ties with Ram Vilas Paswan, indicating the RJD’s willingness to align with the Chirag-led LJP.
Chirag, who is touring Bihar to regain his political ground after LJP’s split, has been warming up to RJD as well. In a recent interview to The Indian Express, he had said, “One never says never in politics.” Chirag is facing a battle for political survival after his uncle and Hajipur MP Pashupati Kumar Paras and his faction of leaders rebelled against his leadership and split.
Chirag 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.”
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.