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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Nitish Kumar errs again, seeks votes for late Ram Vilas Paswan

This is not the first time that Nitish has made such a gaffe, which, in turn, has led to wide speculations about his mental health condition.
Last Updated : 11 May 2024, 21:04 IST
Last Updated : 11 May 2024, 21:04 IST

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Patna: Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) national president Nitish Kumar committed yet another faux pas on Saturday when, during an election rally in Hajipur, he sought votes for the late Ram Vilas Paswan, the veteran socialist and parliamentarian who passed away in 2020.

He then corrected himself and, amid guffaw from the crowd, said, “Not Ram Vilas Paswan. Vote for Ram Vilas Paswan’s son Chirag Paswan.”

Nitish was campaigning for LJP(R) chief Chirag Paswan, who is contesting his first parliamentary election from Hajipur, a seat from where his father and former Union Minister Ram Vilas have won nine times since 1977.

Chirag was earlier an LJP MP from the Naxal-infested Jamui parliamentary constituency, from where he romped home in 2014 and 2019. However, after the demise of his father, he is contesting from the reserved constituency, which his Uncle (Ram Vilas’ younger brother) and former Union Minister Pashupati Kumar Paras represented in the outgoing Lok Sabha.

This is not the first time that Nitish has made such a gaffe, which, in turn, has led to wide speculations about his mental health condition.

On two previous occasions, he appealed to the voters to help the NDA cross 4,000 seats in the Lok Sabha. This happened once in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After being pointed out by his aides, he corrected himself and sought an apology.

“It was by mistake that I said 4,000. Please help NDA cross 400 seats in the Lok Sabha,” said Nitish, even as the PM looked bemused.

Later, he reportedly touched the feet of his contemporary Modi, apparently seeking forgiveness for the gaffe and the embarrassment he caused during his speech.

The bitter acrimony between Nitish and Chirag Paswan was widely reported during the 2020 Bihar Assembly elections and it continued till Nitish switched sides and joined the NDA bandwagon in January 2024.

Chirag, whose party LJP faced a split after his Uncle walked away with five of the six MPs, too joined the NDA in February this year.

“Today I am missing my father Ram Vilas Paswan. This is the first time I am contesting a Lok Sabha election in the absence of my father,” said Chirag, seeking blessings from Nitish.

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Published 11 May 2024, 21:04 IST

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