A day before the vote count in Bihar, Tejashwi Yadav of Rashtriya Janata Dal received birthday greetings from Chirag Paswan, who, along with him, was part of the clampdown on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in the elections to the assembly recently concluded.
“Many happy birthday wishes. God bless you with longevity and succeed in making your life successful. Today is your birthday and have a good day with God’s blessings,” Mr. Paswan in Hindi.
Tejashwi Yadav, who turned 32 yesterday and six years younger than party leader Lok Janshakti, responded with a “Thank you brother”.
The Yadav and Paswans are friends of the family, given the common history of Ram Vilas Paswan and Lalu Yadav in the JP movement.
The two young leaders from Bihar, who shared a passion for cricket before turning to politics, also share a cordial relationship.
Tejashwi Yadav always called Chirag Paswan his older brother. Flooded with marriage proposals at the wedding of his older brother Tej Pratap Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav said he could not take the plunge before his other brother (Chirag Paswan).
During this election, Tejashwi Yadav had often supported Chirag Paswan in his attacks on Nitish Kumar – their common enemy – raising concerns about their union.
It was widely believed that the two leaders had an understanding in the RJD leader’s constituency in Raghopur. Sources said Chirag Paswan presented a Rajput candidate for the seat with the express purpose of cutting into the upper caste voting base of the BJP, which will help Tejashwi Yadav.
Shortly after Ram Vilas Paswan’s death last month, Tejashwi Yadav attacked Mr. Kumar in reference to his absence during the LJP leader’s family crisis.
“What Nitish Kumar Ji did with Chirag Paswan was not good. Chirag Paswan needs his father more than ever but Ram Vilas Paswan is not with us and we are sad for that. The way Nitish Kumar is behaved… did injustice to Chirag Paswan, ”the head of the RJD told reporters.
Tejashwi Yadav had gone to Paswan’s home the day Chirag Paswan brought his father’s body back for the final rites. Unlike Nitish Kumar, who had refused to meet with the family members, Tejashwi Yadav had met the family and touched the feet of Chirag Paswan’s mother.