Chirag writes to CM Nitish to recommend Ram Vilas Paswan for Bharat Ratna

Chirag Paswan’s demand comes in the backdrop of PM Modi’s emotional message on the late leader’s first death anniversary.
Chirag Paswan had criticised the chief minister for staying away from the death anniversary function of his father (HT PHOTO)
Chirag Paswan had criticised the chief minister for staying away from the death anniversary function of his father (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Sep 18, 2021 03:50 PM IST
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After the first death anniversary of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) founder and former Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Chirag Paswan wrote to Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, demanding a recommendation for his late father for Bharat Ratna. He also pressed for the installation of his father’s life-size statute and his birth anniversary to be declared a state holiday.

“A resolution in this regard has been passed by the LJP’s national executive in view of the late leader’s invaluable contribution in his nearly five-decade-long political career, during which he had the privilege to work with six prime ministers. He always strived to work for the nation’s development and build an egalitarian society without any discrimination,” Chirag Paswan wrote to the CM, with a copy to both the deputy CMs.

Chirag Paswan’s demand comes in the backdrop of PM Modi’s emotional message on the late leader’s first death anniversary. The prime minister described Ram Vilas Paswan as a “close friend, a great son of the nation, Bihar’s pride and a strong voice for social justice”.

Chirag had criticised the chief minister for staying away from the death anniversary function of his father, though Kumar did pay a tribute by issuing a statement. The bitterness between Chirag Paswan and Kumar deepened after the LJP announced candidates against the JD(U) in the last year’s assembly elections.

The letter to CM from Chirag follows similar demands from the RJD and the BJP, as well as the split-group of the LJP led by union minister Pashupati Kumar Paras in the past. Soon after the split in the LJP, Chirag had also appealed to PM Modi for Bharat Ratna to his father after the national executive meeting was held in New Delhi.

Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi had also made a demand to declare the birth anniversary of the late leader a state holiday and installation of his statute. RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav has also been echoing the same.

Former Bihar minister and senior BJP leader Prem Kumar had also demanded Bharat Ratna for Ram Vilas Paswan.

Paras, who also visited Chirag’s home to attend the death anniversary function for the first time since the split, also reiterated the demand for Bharat Ratna and on Friday and organised a function to pay tribute to his elder brother Ram Vilas Paswan. Later, he said that he would like Nitish Kumar to forget political differences and recommend the LJP’s founder’s name for Bharat Ratna.

Former Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi had also made this demand. Manjhi recently also wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind, with an additional demand to convert the late leader’s 12, Janpath bungalow in New Delhi, to a memorial. The bungalow was in the news after Chirag installed a statute of his father, barely a few days after he was served notice to vacate it.

JDU spokesman Neeraj Kumar said that everyone has the right to write to the CM. “But here, the matter is not to be decided by the state alone. He is the lone MP from his party and his party split due to his own policies. Now that he has written, he should be patient,” he added.

BJP spokesman Nikhil Anand said that it was for the government to decide on the letter. “We respect Ram Vilas Paswanji to the core. He has contributed to the society and polity of Bihar in a great way, not only as a Dalit leader but a mass leader. He always appreciated and supported our PM Narendra Modiji. We pay tribute to the great leader of his stature,” he added.

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Sunday, December 05, 2021