RJD president Lalu Prasad Yadav also met the young leader to pay their tributes to his father
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited LJP (Ram Vilas) leader Chirag Paswan on Friday on the occasion of the first death anniversary of the Bihar MP’s father, prompting renewed speculation about the opposition’s efforts to reach out to the Dalit leader.
Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Rajnath Singh and RJD president Lalu Prasad Yadav also met the young leader to pay their tributes to his father.
Mr. Gandhi visited Mr. Paswan’s Janpath residence, home to his father Ram Vilas Paswan for over three decades, and spent time with him and his family members as people paid homage to one of the tallest Dalit leaders who had died last year.
Mr. Gandhi’s visit to the LJP leader comes amid a growing distance between him and the BJP after the ruling party dumped him for another LJP faction, now given the name Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party, headed by his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras, a Union Minister.
Opposition leaders in Bihar, including RJD president Mr. Yadav and his son Tejashwi Yadav, have been urging Chirag Paswan to switch over to their camp.
Sources, however, added that not much should be read into Mr. Gandhi’s visit to Mr. Paswan’s residence as he had invited leaders of various parties.
At a commemoration event he had held in Patna last month, leaders from various parties, including the BJP and the RJD, had attended it.
Chirag Paswan has, however, kept his cards close to chest, stressing that his immediate priority is to build his party.
A trenchant critic of Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar, he has been less vocal in attacking the BJP and has, at times, even praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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