By Prerna Ahuja
Lok Janshakti Party chief Chirag Paswan, who took the big, risky decision of not fighting the Bihar Assembly election as part of the National Democratic Alliance, has grabbed many eyeballs in the past few days. The 38-year-old son of late union minister Ram Vilas Paswan prepared himself for the litmus test when his father was not keeping well and it was clear that he would not be available for campaigning. The 38-year-old actor-turned-politician lost his father soon after announcing the solo act but continued with the aggressive campaigning even with the odds stacked against him.
Born October 31, 1982 in Delhi, Chirag Paswan completed his engineering before trying his hand at acting. He starred opposite Kangana Ranaut in Miley Naa Miley Hum, whichtanked at the box office dashing his hopes of becoming a successful actor. Although many consider Paswan Jr a novice in politics, he is a two-time MP from Jamui and has learnt the ropes from his father. Chirag campaigned for his father in Hajipur before the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, which he lost to 87-year-old Ram Sunder Das of JD(U).
Sensing a churn in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Chirag is said to have asked his father to break away from the United Progressive Alliance and join the NDA instead, a decision which worked magic for the party. Both father and son won from Hajipur and Jamui, respectively. The party won six seats out of seven it contested and emerged as the second-largest party behind the BJP in the state. He retained his seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as well, while Paswan Sr went on to become a union minister. He took charge of the party last year when his father stepped aside due to illness.
Chirag also runs NGO Chirag Ka Rojgar which aims at providing employment opportunities to the unemployed in Bihar.
In an interview following Ram Vilas Paswan’s death, Chirag Paswan said his father had wanted him to go solo since another five years of Nitish Kumar would be disastrous for the state. Paswan said he believes in the vision of PM Modi and hopes to form the government with the BJP. It has not been easy for the 38-year-old to campaign without his father’s guidance, but the LJP leader has pushed himself and fulfilled the commitments ahead of the elections. The party does not have many big faces and has banked upon former BJP and JD(U) leaders, a move that might not yield the desired results for the party. Although many believe Paswan’s solo act is backed by BJP, he has not received any public backing from the party. The decision to go solo might prove to be costly for the LJP as BJP might not give any Cabinet berth to the party following its ally JD(U)’s demands for the same.
If the gamble works, it will be the prodigal’s Diwali for Chirag Paswan leadership. If it doesn’t, realignments and revisions lie ahead.
Congress Bihar leader Akhilesh Prasad says he will speak to Rahul Gandhi on poll mistakes
Major changes are needed at the organisation level for winning any state election, Singh said. He said he had sought an appointment with Rahul Gandhi to discuss the way ahead.
Congress Bihar campaign in-charge Akhilesh Prasad Singh on Thursday broke his silence on the party’s disappointing performance in the Assembly elections. Taking responsibility for the defeat in Bihar, he said the biggest mistake was to contest from the wrong seats. He said he will tell former president Rahul Gnadhi that there is a need to tackle weaknesses in the organisation and make it sharper.
Major changes are needed at the organisation level for winning any state election, Singh said. He said he had sought an appointment with Rahul Gandhi to discuss the way ahead. He told NDTV that the Congress took a hasty decision eventually on the seats. There were weaknesses in the party, especially at the state, district and block levels, he said.
This is the latest statement of a senior leader in the midst of a meltdown within the Congress after being blamed for the Mahagathbandhan’s so-near-yet-so-far loss in Bihar. On the statement of Kapil Sibal, Akhilesh Prasad Singh said he respected Sibal but this kind of analysis was not good after the defeat.
The ruckus within the party had started after Kapil Sibal called for experienced minds, experienced hands and those who understand political realities for reviving the party from visible decline. He had also demanded some major organisational changes in party. P Chidambaram, another senior Congress leader, had said the results in Bihar and bypolls elsewhere showed the Congress had no organisational presence left on the ground. He had also pointed out that the Congress had contested much more seats than its organisational strength could do justice to.
After Bihar assembly election and Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and UP bypolls, the pundits along with some Rashtriya Janata Dal-led Mahagathbandhan had blamed the Congress for not pulling its weight in the alliance.
In Nitish Kumar cabinet, new Deputy CM Tarkishore Prasad gets Finance and IT, other Deputy Renu Devi gets Panchayati Raj
New Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad has got finance, environment, urban development and information technology while the second Deputy CM Renu Devi got Panchayati Raj, Backward Caste Upliftment and Industry portfolios.
At the age of 69, Nitish Kumar has become the longest-serving Chief Minister of Bihar after winning the election to the 243-member Bihar Assembly. Kumar has kept home, general administration, vigilance and three more departments for himself. New Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad has got finance, environment, urban development and information technology while the second Deputy CM Renu Devi got Panchayati Raj, Backward Caste Upliftment and Industry portfolios.
Mukesh Sahni, the only leader of the Vikassheel Insaan Party, has been given the Animal Husbandry and Fishery portfolio and BJP senior leader Mangal Pandey has retained the Health ministry. Pandey has also been the Bihar BJP president from 2013 to 2017. Bijendra Yadav has got Planning, Food, and Consumer Affairs in the new Nitish Kumar cabinet.
Former Assembly Speaker and JDU leader Vijay Kumar Chaudhary got the charge of rural engineering, rural development, water resources, parliamentary affairs, and information and public relations. Mewalal Choudhary will be the new education minister while Sheela Kumari has been allocated the transport ministry.
Jibesh Kumar, who defeated Maskoor Ahmad Usmani by a massive margin from Jale constituency, has been given charge of tourism, mines and labour. Santosh Kumar Suman, the son of former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, has been given the minor irrigation and Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe welfare portfolios, Surat Rai will be the new revenue and law minister of the state.
BJP’s Amrendra Pratap Singh will handle agriculture, cooperatives, and sugarcane departments, and Rampreet Paswan will be the new public health engineering minister.
Nitish Kumar on Monday took oath as Bihar Chief Minister for the fourth consecutive term after edging out the Mahagathbandan in the election to the 243-member Bihar Assembly. The National Democratic Alliance of the BJP, Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal-United, Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha Secular and Mukesh Sahni’s Vikashsheel Insaan Party secured 125 seats. With 74 winning seats, the BJP got an upper hand in the state for teh first time ever while the JDU tally shrunk to 43 from 71 seats earlier, marking its worst performance since the 2005 Assembly polls. NDA allies VIP and HAM(S) secured four seats each. The RJD emerged as the single-largest party with 75 seats while the Congress won just 19 of the 70 seats it contested on and 16 seats were won by the Left parties who contested 29 seats.
Nitish Kumar back in Bihar saddle with 2 new deputy CMs
Nitish Kumar took oath as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the fourth straight term on Monday in the presence of BJP senior leaders including Home Minister Amit Shah, party chief JP Nadda and former chief minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis. The leaders of the Rashtriya Janata Dal-led Mahagathbandhan boycotted the ceremony, claiming the mandate in the elections was against the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and that it had been changed by fraud.
BJP’s Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi took oath as Kumar’s new deputies, instead of old, trusted Sushil Modi. Hours after Nitish Kumar’s oath, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated him and said the NDA family will work together in Bihar.
On the midnight of November 10, the NDA achieved the majority by winning 125 seats in Bihar’s 243-member House, three above the halfway mark. By winning 74 seats in the 2020 Bihar Assembly election, the BJP gained the upper hand in the alliance from the JDU, which won just 43 seats and became the junior ally. The RJD emerged as the single largest party of Bihar with 76 seats. Observers credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal popularity for the NDA’s victory.
Political pundits and the people of Bihar expected Sushil Modi as his deputy but the speculation is that the BJP is promoting Sushil Modi to a role at the central level. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, after the oath-taking ceremony, told the media that the BJP needs to be asked why Sushil Modi was not chosen as the deputy CM of Bihar again.
Sushil Modi said the NDA has once again formed the government in the state based on the people’s decision. It is the decision of the BJP to not field Sushil Modi as the Deputy Chief Minister. He said the party needs to be asked why he wasn’t allowed to contest elections.