Pashupati Kumar Paras, the man behind the coup in the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), could never quite get over the “humiliation” of nephew Chirag Paswan ordering him to retract a statement praising Nitish Kumar.
Yesterday, he may have salvaged some of his injured pride. Chirag Paswan waited for an hour and 45 minutes outside Pashupati Paras’s door to meet him but returned disappointed.
For months, Mr Paras had shared with close aides how he felt betrayed by “Deepu” just days after the death of his older brother Ram Vilas Paswan, Chirag’s father.
“Tum mere khoon nahin ho sakte (you can’t be my blood),” Chirag Paswan shouted at his uncle in front of his mother Reena Paswan , cousin Prince Raj and aide Saurabh Pandey.
Mr Paras was reportedly shaken. He replied: “From today, your uncle is dead to you.”
The 71-year-old, a first time MP and six-term MLA, shares the story with tears in his eyes, sources say, adding that he cannot get over how “Deepu” treated him over an innocuous remark on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, and even forced him to issue a clarification – “humiliation” he had never faced in his political life.
When Chirag’s mother Reena Paswan, who had seen the closeness between her husband and his brother, called him on the phone, Mr Paras reportedly asked what the point of her calling was, as “when Deepu threatened me with expulsion you didn’t slap him or stop him.”
That was the start of the drama in the close-knit Paswan family that led to the revolt against Chirag Paswan, Ram Vilas Paswan’s chosen heir.
Any doubt that Mr Paras may have had, only on the basis of the bond he shared with his brother, was apparently erased because of Chirag’s “constant arrogance”.
Party leaders said: “Chirag had never seen how fondly his father used to treat his uncles – he ensured they would face no financial difficulty.”
Pashupati Paras was in charge of micro and macro-managing Ram Vilas Paswan’s affairs and also those of their brother Ramchandra, who died in 2019. Mr Paras, though politically indispensable to Paswan Senior, stayed in the backroom.
Whenever Mr Paswan was in town, say sources, it was Mr Paras’s job to organise everything down to his favourite food, preferably non-vegetarian. He was also the bridge in the family.
When Chirag took over his father’s party and responsibilities, Mr Paras reportedly felt slighted and left out. His suggestions no longer carried the weight they once did. Chirag Paswan, unlike his father, did not bother to consult his low profile uncle on anything. He is paying for it now, sources say.