Patna: Trouble brews for LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan whose daughter Asha Paswan has said she would contest election against him from his Hajipur parliamentary constituency if she gets an RJD ticket. Accusing Paswan of discriminating against daughters and promoting only son Chirag, currently MP from Jamui in Bihar, Asha said her father neglected her. “I was neglected, while Chirag was made the LJP parliamentary party leader. If the RJD gives me a ticket, I would contest from Hajipur,” she told media at her Patna residence on Thursday.
Asha and her sister are daughters from Paswan’s first marriage to Raj Kumari Devi. He has Chirag and a daughter from his second marriage to Reena who he married in 1983 after his divorce with Raj Kumari. Asha’s husband Anil Sadhu was the state unit president of LJP’s wing Dalit Sena. He quit LJP recently to join RJD. While Asha openly wanted to stand against her father, her husband Sadhu had also told media a day ago that he was also willing to take on his father-in-law in Hajipur.
“It can be either me or my wife… Let’s see who gets the RJD ticket,” he said. He said his father Punit Rai had represented the Fatuha assembly constituency for five consecutive terms from 1980 onwards. What gives credence to Asha’s allegation against Paswan is that the leader has been accused of practising nepotism in his party. His younger brother Pashupati Kumar Paras is the LJP’s Bihar unit president, nephew Prince Raj is the party’s student wing president and another brother Ram Chandra Paswan is an MP.
Meanwhile, Paswan has been accusing the Opposition of fuelling misconceptions about the SC/ST Act that triggered ‘Bharat Bandh’. The bandh was called by some upper caste-OBC groups to protest against the recent amendments to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act by Parliament to overturn a Supreme Court judgement. The Lok Janshakti Party chief had questioned Opposition leaders’ “silence” over the shutdown. He also scoffed at the Congress’ promise of 10 per cent quota for upper castes if it came to power.