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Lalu Prasad Yadav: ‘I want Chirag Paswan, Tejashwi Yadav to come together’ | India News

NEW DELHI: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad on Tuesday pitched for an alliance between his son Tejashwi Yadav, who is the leader of the opposition in Bihar assembly, and embattled Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan.
“Whatever happened in the LJP, Chirag Paswan continues to be the leader of LJP. Yes, I want Chirag Paswan and Tejashwi Yadav to come together,” Lalu said during an interaction with media in the national capital.
Chirag acknowledged Lalu’s outreach and said, “I respect his feelings but my priority is the ‘Ashirwad Yatra’ and making my organisation strong. Any discussions on alliance in Bihar or UP will be done near elections.”
Chirag is battling a rebellion to keep control of the LJP, after his uncle Pashupati Paras led 4 party MPs against him. The rebel faction first replaced Chirag as the leader of the parliamentary party and later also removed him as the president of the party.
However, Chirag maintains that these actions are illegal according to the party constitution as he had already convened a meeting of the party and expelled all the rebels from the party.
Chirag, who had backed PM Modi and the BJP to the hilt in the last assembly elections in Bihar, has been upset with the party’s leadership for not backing him in this fight.
He is at present touring Bihar to strengthen his support base and challenge the rebels.
This is not the first time that the RJD has wooed Chirag in Bihar.
Earlier, Tejashwi Yadav had urged the LJP leader to break ranks with the NDA and join the opposition fold in Bihar.
Responding to RJD leader’s appeal, Chirag had then said: “My father & Lalu ji have always been close friends. RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav & I know each other since childhood, we’d a close friendship, he is my younger brother. When election time will come in Bihar then the party will take a final call on the alliance.”
Last month, RJD national general secretary Shyam Rajak had met Chirag Paswan at the latter’s residence in New Delhi.
BJP backs Pashupati Paras
The BJP, which benefitted in a big way in Bihar elections because of Chirag’s opposition to Nitish Kumar, has thrown its weight behind Pashupati Paras, at least for now.
Pashupati Kumar Paras was made a Union minister in the latest round of Cabinet expansion.
Earlier, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla accepted Paras as the floor leader of the LJP in Lok Sabha after the rebel group handed over a letter to him seeking removal of Chirag Paswan.
In a revised list of floor leaders of parties, Paras was listed as the Lok Sabha LJP leader.
Later, Chirag wrote to Birla stating that the decision of announcing Pashupati as leader of LJP in the Lower House was contrary to the provisions of the party’s Constitution.
The LJP was formed by former Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan in 2000. Paswan, a heavyweight leader in Bihar politics, passed away in October 2020.
(With inputs from agencies)

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