It is bye bye Bollywood for Chirag Paswan son of LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan who was formally inducted as the chairman of the party's parliamentary board.
The announcement was made amidst huge chant and slogan shouting of LJP workers who assembled in large numbers to endorse the party decision. “We have decided to appoint Chirag Paswan as Chairman of the Parliamentary Board in view of the growing demand within the party” Paswan said at a media briefing
Paswan said he had to yield to the overwhelming demand of LJP leaders and cadre and hoped that the projection of his actor-turned-politician son will attract young voters to the party.
He said the post of parliamentary board chairman was key and Chirag would play a big role as LJP's "star campaigner" and in setting up election committees in states.
Chirag, who was until a few months ago nursing a Bollywood dream and had even starred in a film opposite Kangana Ranaut, will now lead the party in the 2014 general elections.
Thanking the leadership and party workers for reposing faith in him, Chirag said he would strive to shoulder the responsibility and strengthen the organization in Bihar. He went on to say that Rahul Gandhi was his inspiration. "Rahul Gandhi has worked hard to create a political consciousness among the youth. In a way, I have been inspired by him," Chirag said.
On asked how he compared Rahul with BJP's Varun Gandhi, Chirag said, "There is no question of comparing. Both are doing good work. And then this a time when all youth leaders must come together on the common platform of development."
Chirag's ascent in the party is significant, as LJP has been relegated to the sidelines in Bihar politics in the past decade due to the formidable BJP-JD(U) combine that ruled the state until recently. With the split in the alliance, LJP and RJD are smelling blood. Only a few months ago, RJD chief Lalu Prasad launched his sons Tejaswi and Tej Pratap into politics to woo young voters.
Chirag too tried to make the right noises, saying that under his leadership, the party would rise above caste considerations and work towards realizing aspirations of the youth.
Speaking of the transition from Bollywood to politics, he tried to tug at the emotions of Biharis living in big cities. "The reason I plunged into politics leaving Bollywood was because while living in Mumbai I saw how Biharis are treated there. I was pained and decided to contribute to restore the lost pride of Bihar," he said.
LJP is making a desperate bid to stitch an alliance with the Congress as it believes that a grand alliance among Congress, LJP and RJD can be a winning combination in the next Lok Sabha polls.
The party was so far being run primarily by the former Union minister and his two younger brothers Ramchandra Paswan and Pashupati Kumar Paras, who is LJP's Bihar chief.