New Delhi, June 23: The LJP chief, Ram Vilas Paswan, today thanked son Chirag for coercing him to join the BJP and urged Muslims to leave Godhra behind, pointing out that they would be more secured under the Narendra Modi government than any other regime.
The thanks to the son came at the national executive meeting of the LJP, convened particularly to celebrate the performance of the party in the Lok Sabha polls. Paswan sought to indirectly credit his son Chirag for ushering what many in the party said as “achhe din” (good days) for the Paswan family and the outfit.
“We are here to celebrate the victory… I thank members of the party’s parliamentary board, particularly Chirag, for compelling me and some others in the party to join the NDA,” said Paswan, the Union minister of food and consumer affairs.
Chirag, as the chairman of the parliamentary board, was learnt to have steered the party towards the BJP. The LJP won six of the seven Lok Sabha seats it contested in alliance with the BJP in Bihar. Apart from Paswan, his brother Ramchandra Paswan and Chirag won. All of them acknowledge privately that none of them would have made it had they remained with the RJD-Congress.
Thanking his son was natural as Chirag had virtually overruled the wish of his father, the LJP president, and compelled him to snap ties with the RJD-Congress combine and join hands with the BJP just ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. Paswan was against this, worried how he would justify the return to the BJP fold after terming it “Bharat Jalao Party” and making a big issue of the Gujarat communal riots.
Paswan not only hailed his son’s decision. He defended Narendra Modi, too, boldly. He went to the extent of urging Muslims to leave behind the communal riots in Gujarat and move ahead, assuring that Muslims would be more secured under the Modi regime than any other government.
“It’s been more than a month now of the government and there is unprecedented peace… The Muslims would enjoy such security under this government that they have not experienced under any regime,” Paswan said.
He said the experience of the Muslims under the Modi government would lead them to vote for the NDA in the next polls. Paswan said Muslims had no reason to panic and assured that he was there to safeguard their interests.
“How long will people hold on to Godhra? Allow the wheel to move ahead. People have forgotten emergency, Bhagalpur riots and the anti-Sikh riots,” he said, seeking to justify his political turnaround.
Paswan poked fun at the coming together of Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar and said they were like “the snake and the mongoose” who climb the same tree to save themselves from being drowned in a flood.
“The avowed enemies have come together but they will not be saved. The NDA wave in Bihar would drown them both,” Paswan said, predicting elections in the state later this year ahead of the scheduled end of 2015. He said cracks had surfaced in the JDU, RJD and even the Congress and it was a matter of time before the state government collapsed.
He termed Nitish’s move to make Jitan Ram Manjhi, a Mahadalit, the chief minister an eyewash and dared him to declare that the JDU would project Manjhi in the next Assembly elections too.
“Chirag raised this issue in the meeting, and dared Nitish to declare Manjhi as the next chief ministerial candidate. But he will not. He will project himself as the chief minister,” Paswan said.