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Chirag Paswan: Dad wanted me to do it only in Bihar polls |

PATNA: In your first TOI interview after the death of your father and LJP founder Ram Vilas Paswan, the 37-year-old ‘Chirag’ of the Paswan family tells TOI that he has stopped crying, for now, to comply with his responsibilities as party leader and his father’s dream to see LJP embark on the path of political supremacy in Bihar. Dressed in a dhoti, Chirag tells Piyush Tripathi about the late RVP’s last words, why he has waged a war against CM Nitish Kumar, and his strategy at the polls. Excerpts:
What were your father’s last words to you?
I think he was able to foresee things and he kept mentally preparing me for this day. I clearly remember one thing he told me in the hospital, never be afraid to walk alone if my thoughts and intentions are correct. He said he also started his political journey alone with his brothers, who used to put up posters in support of him during the elections and told me to always keep the family together.
What RVP ideals do you want to follow in your political career?
Everything, whatever I am today, every part, from my personality, attitude and thought process, everything is inspired by him. I am the moon and he is the sun, I reflect everything he emits.
Now that your father is not there to guide you, how do you see this choice?
This election for me is a platform to fulfill my father’s dreams. He wanted me to go solo and LJP to compete against Nitish Kumar Ji. He made it very clear that we have to take a step forward for the development of the state, through the vision of ‘Bihar First, Bihari First’. She also believed that Nitish Kumar Ji was unable to give birth in the past 15 years and mainly thought about saving her chair.
Your two former allies BJP and JD (U) are against you in this election. How difficult has the battle become for you now?
It is difficult without my father, but he has made me strong enough to fight all obstacles. It doesn’t matter much if we are fighting against JD (U), as there is huge opposition against them and the anger of the people against the CM will be reflected during the vote. We are still in alliance with BJP at the national level and I still believe that the next government will be formed by BJP-LJP.
Why is there so much bad blood between you and Nitish?
He was disrespectful to my father. It started during the Rajya Sabha elections after the 2019 general elections. Although the three constituents of the NDA in New Delhi clearly announced that the first RS seat will be awarded to Ram Vilas Paswan Ji. But on the day of the nomination, we received a call from a senior BJP official that CM is not aware of this RS decision for Ram Vilas Paswan Ji. His behavior was very humiliating and was not acceptable to me as a son. On top of this, he (Nitish) said a few days ago that Dad didn’t go to RS with just two MLAs, this is the most insensitive he could have said of someone who won with record votes.
Who made the decision that LJP will compete in 143 seats?
It was daddy’s decision. I remember he told me once that only if he could make a similar decision in 2005. He said on another occasion that if you support Nitish today and he forms the next government, then you won’t be able to forgive yourself 10 or 15 years from now. line. This finally prompted me to make the decision. He was also concerned that the party was shrinking in terms of the number of seats contested. From 175 seats contested in 2005, we went to 42 seats in the 2015 elections.
What will your strategy be since you don’t have much time?
Most likely, he will start campaigning on October 21. He would travel by road to as many places as possible. We will tell people about our plan for the development of the state through Bihar First’s vision document, Bihari First.
Modern Bihari wants to get out of caste-based politics. How are you going to address the youth on this front?
My father was largely considered one of the highest Dalit leaders in the country, but he always told me that the largest caste is poverty and our work should be aimed at eliminating it. Poverty does not come looking at a caste. I would like to specifically name the incumbent CM to divide the company. He divided the Dalits into Mahadalites, backwards into extremely backwards. But he did nothing for them.
Some of your critics say that you are too ambitious in aspiring to become CM at such a young age. Your opinion?
First of all, I would like to dismiss myself as a CM candidate. Second, I believe that there is nothing wrong with being ambitious for the young and the old should also have a big heart to support them.

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