At BJP Conclave, Feuding Paswans Meet, Greet And Then Hug

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The distant factions of Bihar’s Lok Janshakti Party took one step towards each other today as Chirag Paswan was seen touching his uncle Pashupati Paras’s feet and getting a warm hug in return at the NDA meet presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The amity was on display less than 72 hours after Mr Paras was heard making strong remarks against his nephew and declaring that he has said a firm “no” to the BJP’s suggestion that the divided party unify.

Chirag Paswan has joined the NDA and became one of the 38 allies who had a mega meeting in Delhi today. At the meet, he was greeted with a hug by the Prime Minister too — a moment he shared on Twitter.

इस स्नेह और सम्मान के लिए आपका आभार आदरणीय प्रधानमंत्री जी।@narendramodi

— युवा बिहारी चिराग पासवान (@iChiragPaswan) July 18, 2023

The uncle and nephew have been at loggerheads since the Bihar assembly election — the latest flashpoint being Ram Vilas Paswan’s of seat of Hajipur. Earlier this week, Mr Paras had doubled down saying that he would not give up Hajipur. “He (Chirag) has no standing in Hajipur. I wonder why he is spending his time there,” he said.

Today, Chirag Paswan asserted his claims over Hajipur and made light of his uncle’s objections. Hajipur, he said, was the stronghold of his father Ram Vilas Paswan and it was his duty to take over the responsibilities.

A minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, Mr Paras had also directed several jabs at his nephew, questioning why he was not allotted Hajipur during his father’s lifetime. “Why is that when your father was alive, you were asked to contest from Jamui and not from Hajipur,” he said.

The faction led by Mr Paras had said they will not oppose Chirag Paswan’s entry into NDA, but they would not welcome him either.

Mr Paswan today sounded a conciliatory note. Both of them are part of the NDA now and should now focus on winning the upcoming polls, he said.

Sources said Mr Paswan had sought six Lok Sabha and one Rajya Sabha seat for his party during his talks with Union minister and the BJP’s chief strategist Amit Shah. It was not known if his request was granted.

“It will be against coalition dharma for me to speak about the details of my discussions with BJP leaders. But yes, my party’s concerns about Lok Sabha and assembly polls were part of the deliberations and they have been addressed positively by the BJP,” Mr Paswan said today.

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