LJP President Ramvilas Paswan, who has returned to NDA 12 years after quitting the allaince over Godhra riots, today rubbished charges that he had taken pride in introducing himself to the then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf as the one to have done so.
Quizzed by reporters during his maiden press conference since returning to the NDA, Paswan said he had merely answered in the affirmative when the erstwhile Pakistan leader had asked him. "After giving my introduction when General Musharraf asked me if I am the leader who had resigned over 2002 Gujarat riots I said yes. What wrong did I do?" he asked.
The LJP chief was rebutting charges by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar that he had claimed glory by introducing himself as the leader who quit NDA government over Gujarat riots of 2002. Paswan was part of the delegation of Indian MPs which visited Pakistan in 2003 and included RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
On Kumar challenging him to divulge the 'truth' behind his quitting NDA - whether it was on the question of change of his ministerial portfolio or Gujarat riots, Paswan said if it was greed that guided him then why did he turn down the offer of chief ministership of Bihar twice by him and NDA. The LJP chief, who was accompanied by his son Chirag, came down heavily on RJD leader Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar. "I am not like them (Prasad and Kumar) who call somebody good for two days and assail them as bad in no time...However, they are my friends and will remain so," he added.