Chirag Paswan today used his birthday wishes for Union Home Minister Amit Shah to demonstrate his loyalty to the BJP while steadily sharpening his attacks on its ally, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader called Amit Shah his "guardian" in a tweet crafted as a message to Nitish Kumar at the peak of the campaign for the Bihar polls starting next week.
"Best wishes to the country's Home Minister, guardian Amit Shah on his birthday. Sir you inspire lakhs of youth like me to do something for the country. May god always keep you healthy," Chirag Paswan tweeted on the senior BJP leader's 56th birthday.
The 37-year-old LJP MP, who is fighting separately from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the October-November Bihar election, also spoke to Amit Shah on the phone.
Shortly before the birthday greetings, Chirag Paswan had, in three tweets, targeted Nitish Kumar over what he alleged were "five years of scams" and added that if he came to power, he would have all those responsible jailed.
Chirag Paswan's strategy to underscore his continued ties with the BJP while fighting the Janata Dal United (JDU) in the Bihar election has become a huge challenge for Nitish Kumar. The BJP's multiple pronouncements that Nitish Kumar leads the NDA in Bihar has not convinced his supporters that the ruling party is not secretly backing Chirag Paswan in his mission to oust the five-time Chief Minister.
As Chirag Paswan rained accusations and insults on Nitish Kumar, Amit Shah reportedly had to step in to mollify the upset Chief Minister and reassure him that he remained the face of the NDA.
The LJP leader, however, has played on Nitish Kumar's insecurities by stressing that he remains devoted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hopes to form a government in Bihar with the BJP.
In an interview to NDTV, Mr Paswan also claimed that he had shared his reservations about Nitish Kumar before announcing his solo fight and that Amit Shah had been "quiet".
"It's not that I sat across the table from Amit Shah and was breaking the news to him. I met him once and told him it won't be possible for him to incorporate me in seat sharing, but would it be possible for him to include my agenda of Bihar First, Bihari First, in NDA agenda. I said if not, allow me to put up my candidates against JDU. He didn't say anything on it... He was quiet, was listening to it," the actor-turned-politician told NDTV last week.