Chirag Paswan | In a race to be kingmaker

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The Bihar Assembly election, scheduled to start later this month, is not a bipolar contest between the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Opposition United Progressive Alliance (UPA), due to Chirag Paswan, president of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP). The 37-year-old walked away from the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led NDA in Bihar, whereas on the similar time persevering with to assist the BJP.

If the LJP efficiently cuts into the Janata Dal(U)’s vote share and seat tally with out affecting the BJP’s efficiency, the State, for the primary time, may see a BJP Chief Minister. This is a state of affairs that Mr. Chirag claims to be working for. On the opposite facet, the Opposition Mahagatbandhan (grand alliance), led by the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), is hoping to realize from the divisions throughout the NDA.

On October 4, 4 days after the LJP introduced its choice to go solo, occasion patriarch and Mr. Chirag’s father Ram Vilas Paswan died of a protracted sickness, leaving the son accountable for the occasion’s election techniques. The LJP had seen a clean switch of energy between the daddy and the son, one thing the senior Paswan was pleased with. On November 5 final yr, he handed over the reins of the occasion to Mr. Chirag. He usually cited the bitter political feud between Mulayam Singh and son Akhilesh Singh Yadav when the latter took over the Samajwadi Party. The heat between the 2 Paswans was seen and infrequently marketed. During the lockdown, a video of the son giving the daddy a shave was circulated by the occasion. The two sat for interviews collectively.

Dalit Sena

Mr. Chirag’s first look at a political occasion was as a one-year-old sitting on his mom’s lap throughout the launch of the Dalit Sena in 1983. Ram Vilas Paswan constructed the LJP 17 years in a while the foundations laid by the Sena.

Born to a Bihari father and Punjabi mom (Reena Sharma Paswan), Mr. Chirag is an element Punjabi and half Bihari, although, it’s the latter half that he desires the world to focus on. To assert his Bihari identification, he lately modified his social media identify to ‘Yuva Bihari Chirag Paswan’.

He did his education from the Air Force Golden Jubilee Institute within the Army Cantonment space in Delhi. Later, he joined Amity University for the B.Tech. Computer Science programme, however left it mid-way. In Mr. Chirag’s personal phrases, his buddies, impressed by his “good looks”, prodded him to go to Mumbai to attempt his luck in Bollywood.

By 2002, he was travelling between Delhi and Mumbai, coaching to be an actor. In 2010, Miley Naa Miley Hum, his solely movie, co-starring Kangana Ranaut, was launched. Three-years later, nicely in time for the 2014 Lok Sabha ballot, Mr. Chirag was again in Bihar.

He is usually nostalgic about his foray into the Bollywood. “There was a very famous song from my movie, “Katto Gilehri…”, written by Javed Sahab [lyricist Javed Akhtar], that occurs to be a well-liked track in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. So after I exit at occasions, they sing the track, the youth inform me that I look good, and I have to make one other film, however politics is a full-time and the one job for me,” he advised The Hindu in 2019.

His entry into politics meant a brand new chapter for the LJP. In March 2014, he steered his father in the direction of Narendra Modi, 12 years after the senior Paswan stop the NDA, criticising Mr. Modi over the Gujarat riots.

“My father was my best friend. While everyone else in the party was scared to tell him their minds about joining hands with Modiji, I could easily talk, argue and goad him,” Mr Paswan later stated. While his father struggled to justify the change, Mr. Chirag had no such qualms. Questions on Mr. Modi’s “secular credentials” have been deflected by itemizing out the 1984 anti-Sikh riots or the 1989 Bhagalpur riots, amongst others.

In 2005, Ram Vilas Paswan performed a key position in altering the political course of Bihar.

He walked out of the RJD-Congress alliance, and the LJP contested towards the RJD however not towards the Congress. The gamble paid off, because it introduced an finish to the 15-year rule of Lalu Prasad.

In the election held in February 2005, the LJP obtained 29 seats. This led to a hung home and contemporary election through which Nitish Kumar swept to energy. Mr. Chirag desires historical past to repeat in 2020.

The distinction, nonetheless, is that this time, Mr. Kumar might be on the receiving finish.

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