Generational shift in yet another party
Chirag Paswan, once an aspiring actor, took over from father and union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, 73, who steered the largely Bihar-based Lok Janshakti Party after forming it in 2000 on breaking away from the Janata Dal.Updated: Nov 05, 2019 16:40 IST
Yet another party has been taken over by a political scion, marking a generational shift. Chirag Paswan, 37, took over the reins of the Lok Janshakti Party on Tuesday after being elected president at party’s national executive in Delhi.
Chirag, once an aspiring actor, took over from father and union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, 73, who steered the largely Bihar-based party after forming it in 2000 on breaking away from the Janata Dal. Since its inception, the party has been headed by Paswan senior, who has been an MP since 1977. He may continue to work as the founder-trustee of the party represented by the family in Parliament. Paswan’s son Chirag, brother Pashupati Paras and nephew Prince Raj are all Lok Sabha members. Paswan himself is a member of the Rajya Sabha.
The LJP, which primarily draws its support from a section of Dalits in Bihar, during Paswan’s leadership, managed to stay on the right side of the power centres by joining hands with various parties with contrasting ideologies and support groups. He is probably the only Union minister who has been part of eight Union cabinets beginning. Whether Chirag, who is currently the chairman of the LJP Parliamentary Board, will head the party with similar dexterity and adaptability remains to be seen.
Chirag Paswan, an engineering graduate, is the second term Lok Sabha member and has been the key decision maker in the party for a while. Before jumping into political arena, Chirag tried his hand at the Bollywood with a movie Miley Naa Miley Hum in 2011. The movie did not do well at the box office, and with that ended his Bollywood career.
Subsequently, Chirag contested the 2014 elections from Jamui and won defeating the nearest rival Sudhansu Shekhar Bhaskar of Rashtriya Janata Dal by over 85,000 votes. Chirag retained his seat in Lok Sabh elections in May this year.
Chirag also owns a NGO named Chirag ka Rojgar, a foundation to provide jobs to the unemployed youths of his state. The website describes the NGO as a path breaking Mass Rural Talent Outreach Initiative, connecting rural talent to gainful employment opportunities.