Debutant actor plays seasoned campaigner for Papa Paswan

April 20th, 2009 - 2:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Ram Vilas Paswan Hajipur (Bihar), April 20 (IANS) His long hair and designer clothes have made him the cynosure of many eyes, he’s been described as “ideal hero material” by industry insiders and his debut film is almost ready for release. But for the moment, Chirag Paswan is focusing on campaigning for father Ram Vilas Paswan in the heat and dust of elections in Bihar.
The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief and steel, chemicals and fertiliser minister, busy with securing his party elsewhere, has roped in his son to help out in his traditional constituency Hajipur, about 25 km from the state capital Patna.

So Chirag, who is in his 20s, has been traversing the roads of Hajipur in the scorching son, requesting people to vote for his father and promising to turn Hajipur into a hub of prosperity.

“Please, vote and ensure his victory once again with a record margin to turn Hajipur on the international map and a hub of development and prosperity,” Chirag has been telling voters during a two-day road trip.

Chirag, who accompanied his father when he filed his nomination April 1, has been fielding the obvious question — some angry youths asked him why Hajipur had not been done well all these years although Paswan had been representing the constituency since 1977.

Paswan won in 1977 with a margin of 424,000 votes that sent him straight into the Guinness records. The record was broken in 1991 when Congress candidate P.V. Narasimha Rao won from the Nandyal Lok Sabha seat by over 500,000 votes after becoming prime minister.

Paswan is not having an easy time as he seeks his eighth Lok Sabha term from the seat. He faces opposition from Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal-United candidate Ram Sundar Das, a former chief minister, and former minister Dasai Choudhary of Congress.

This triangular contest is one of the most important poll battles in the second phase of polls April 23 in 13 of the 40 Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar. The first phase in 13 constituencies was held on April 16.

The LJP is looking to Chirag to make the job easier for Paswan.

“His long hair and designer clothes are hot topics among villagers,” a LJP leader said, adding that he was proving to be a crowd puller in rural and semi-urban pockets in Hajipur.

Last month, filmmaker Prakash Jha, who has made critically acclaimed films like “GangaaJal” and “Apaharan” and is the LJP candidate from West Champaran in Bihar, said Chirag had Bollywood potential.

“Chirag is a very gifted boy. He’s tall and good-looking and ideal hero material. He has also been training hard for a career and is not taking the golden spoon in his mouth lightly.”

Chirag’s debut film “50-50″ is currently in the pre-production stage. He has also made it clear that he was more keen on a film career than politics.

But as he goes about the constituency, on the fertile northern banks of the Ganges and with plenty of banana plantations, asking for votes with folded hands, the genes come into play. He seems pretty much the seasoned politician.

“Chirag is doing hard work by seeking votes and support for Paswanji,” a LJP legislator said.

The party is hoping fervently that it all translates into votes as well.

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