A day before the counting of votes in Bihar, Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Tejashwi Yadav received birthday greetings from Chirag Paswan, who along with him, was part of the pincer movement on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in the recently concluded assembly elections.
“Lots of happy birthday wishes. May God bless you with longevity and succeed in making your life a success. Today is your birthday and have a good day with the blessings of God,” read Mr Paswan’s tweet in Hindi.
Tejashwi Yadav, who turned 32 yesterday and is six years younger than the Lok Janshakti Party chief, responded with a “Thank you brother”.
The Yadavs and the Paswans have been family friends, given the shared history of Ram Vilas Paswan and Lalu Yadav in the JP movement.
The two young leaders of Bihar, who shared a love for cricket before turning to politics, also share a cordial relation.
Tejashwi Yadav has always referred to Chirag Paswan as his elder brother. Flooded with marriage proposals during the wedding of his elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav had said he could not take the plunge before his other brother (Chirag Paswan) did.
In this election, Tejashwi Yadav had often backed up Chirag Paswan on his attacks on Nitish Kumar — their common enemy — raising concerns about their joining forces.
The two leaders were widely believed to have an understanding in the RJD leader’s Raghopur constituency. Sources said Chirag Paswan fielded a Rajput candidate at the seat for the express purpose of cutting into the BJP’s upper caste vote base, which will help Tejashwi Yadav.
Shortly after the death of Ram Vilas Paswan last month, Tejashwi Yadav had attacked Mr Kumar with a 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 at this time more than ever before but Ram Vilas Paswan is not among us and we are sad about it. The way Nitish Kumar behaved…did injustice to Chirag Paswan,” the RJD leader had told reporters.
Tejashwi Yadav had visited the Paswan home the day Chirag Paswan had brought back his father’s body for last rites. Unlike Nitish Kumar, who had refused to meet the family members, Tejashwi Yadav had met the family and touched the feet of Chirag Paswan’s mother.