RAM VILAS PASWAN

Profile

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A seasoned politician, Ram Vilas Paswan is credited with removing the tag of ‘political untouchability’ from Narendra Modi by being the first to rejoin the NDA which he had quit following the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Known in political circles for correctly judging which way the wind was blowing, the 67-year-old Lok Janshakti Partyleader will be a prominent Dalit face of the new government.

The only exception for Paswan was the five-year period from 2009 to 2014, when his gamble of contesting Lok Sabha polls in alliance with Lalu Prasad’s RJD and keeping Congress out did not pay off and his LJP drew a blank and he himself lost from pocket-borough Hajipur.

Starting his electoral career by winning Bihar Assembly election in 1969 as a member of Samyukta Socialist Party, he shifted to national politics soon and key important ministries under various prime ministers.

Springing a surprise by dumping RJD and Congress to join hands with BJP, Paswan won the poll this time by over 2.25 lakh votes from his traditional seat Hajipur (SC) in Bihar.

With his latest victory, Paswan will enter Lok Sabha for a record ninth time. He made a dream debut in Parliament in 1977 by a margin of 4.24 lakh votes that took him straight to the Guinness Book of World Records.

In 1989, he improved the record by winning from the same seat by 5 lakh votes.

After losing the 2009 poll from Hajipur, the LJP chief reached Rajya Sabha with the help of Lalu Prasad in 2010.

Born in a scheduled caste family on July 5, 1946 in Shaharbanni village in Bihar’s Khagaria district, Paswan took active part in anti-Emergency agitation.

An ardent follower of Loknayak Jayprakash Narayan and Raj Narayan, Paswan became general secretary of Lok Dal in 1974.
In 1975 when Emergency was proclaimed he was arrested and spent the entire duration in jail.

On being released in 1977, he became a member of Janata Party and won election to Parliament for the first time. He was subsequently elected in 1980, 1984, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2004 and 2014.

In V P Singh ministry in 1989, Paswan became minister for Labour and Welfare. In 1996, he was leader of the ruling United Front in Lok Sabha as then Prime Minister I K Gujral was a member of Rajya Sabha.

This was the time that he became Railway minister.

In the NDA ministry he presided over Communications ministry but was later shifted to Coal.

In 2000 he formed the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP).

During UPA-I he held portfolios of steel and chemicals and fertiliser. UPA II was the only government which did not include him as a minister from 2009 to 2014.

Paswan is perhaps the only leader to serve as a Union Minister under six different Prime Ministers – Vishwanath Pratap Singh, H D Devegowda, I K Gujaral, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi. His actor-turned-politician son Chirag, who has made his debut from Jamui (SC) seat, is said to be the man who pushed his father towards BJP in the current polls, enabling LJP to bag six of the seven seats it had contested in Bihar.

(With inputs from PTI)

News

Govt-to-govt contract plan to import pulses, says Paswan
Mon, Jun 13, 2016

The situation of pulses is now under control and their month-on-month prices have gone down, he told reporters in Bengaluru.

Centre to send team to probe Banda ‘hunger death’
Sat, May 07, 2016

When 100 per cent foodgrain is lifted for distribution at subsidised rates, how can a person die of hunger, Paswan asked.

Why is Naxalism rising? Need quotas in private sector, says ally Paswan
Tue, Mar 22, 2016

Though the minister in the NDA government batted for caste-based reservation in the private sector, he criticised Bihar for giving top priority to caste.

Bihar: Impose President’s Rule, Lalu Prasad Yadav dares Centre
Tue, Feb 09, 2016

Ram Vilas Paswan had said situation in state warranted central rule.

3 postal staff suspended for ‘not delivering’ Paswan’s greeting cards
Fri, Jan 15, 2016

This problem has been arising for a few years. This year I asked some people whether they got my card. Many said they didn’t,” Paswan told reporters.

Jungle raj is back in Bihar, says Ram Vilas Paswan
Sat, Jan 09, 2016

Paswan attacked Nitish Kumar government over the murder of an assistant sub-inspector of police in Hajipur.

Quota misinformation led to Bihar loss, says Ram Vilas Paswan
Fri, Nov 20, 2015

Paswan also said that following the Dadri incident, the Grand Alliance was successful in convincing the minority community that they would not be safe if the NDA came to power.

Bihar polls: Ram Vilas Paswan makes an emotional pitch at family bastion
Sun, Oct 11, 2015

Paswan asked people to forgive any mistake his brother and Alauli LJP candidate Paras may have committed.

A father and two sons-in-law look beyond NDA
Wed, Sep 23, 2015

Paswan’s son-in-law meets Pappu, Manjhi’s set to contest independently, BJP veteran Chandramohan Rai quits party posts

Bihar polls: Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP announces first list of 12 candidates for Bihar polls
Fri, Sep 18, 2015

The Union Minister's brother Pashupati Kumar Paras has been fielded from the reserved Alouli assembly seat.

Paswan-Manjhi tiff ahead of Bihar elections: Tactical bickerings before seat-sharing
Thu, Sep 10, 2015

Former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, an emerging Mahadalit leader, has been blowing hot and cold on Ram Vilas Paswan, an MP since 1977

Bihar polls: Jitan Ram Manjhi versus Ram Vilas Paswan over who is the bigger Dalit leader
Wed, Sep 09, 2015

Former chief minister Manjhi turned his guns on Paswan as he claimed that the LJP leader had insulted him by telling a news channel that "he (Manjhi) was on trial in NDA".

Paswan best choice for NDA CM candidate: Shatrughan
Tue, Aug 25, 2015

Paswan, however, rushed to clarify that he had never been in contention and Sinha had only expressed his individual opinion.

Won’t withdraw suit against Nestle: Ram Vilas Paswan
Mon, Aug 17, 2015

The government has sought Rs 284.45 crore in basic damages and Rs 355.50 crore in punitive damages.

Monsoon Session: Amid ruckus, a consumers bill, Delhi traffic and OROP
Tue, Aug 11, 2015

Ram Vilas Paswan tabled the Consumer Protection Bill 2015 in the Lok Sabha Monday amid the uproar by Congress members over the Lalit Modi and Vyapam issues.

PM Narendra Modi said not to make unnecessary noise over Maggi row: Ram Vilas Paswan
Thu, Aug 06, 2015

In June, FSSAI had banned Maggi noodles after it found its 30 samples "unsafe and hazardous" for human consumption.

‘Ram Vilas Dalit face wherever you go, Jitan Ram Manjhi can be Mahadalit face’
Wed, Jul 29, 2015

Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan discusses Bihar politics, Parliament standoff and caste census. Excerpts from interviews to Santosh Singh in Patna and Liz Mathew in New Delhi.

Ram Vilas Paswan can be a good CM, says BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha
Mon, Jul 13, 2015

Sinha said Paswan could be a good candidate for the top post because of 'his acceptability among all leaders and his long standing political career'.

Consumer health is paramount and companies must sell only healthy and safe food products: Ram Vilas Paswan
Thu, Jul 09, 2015

Ram Vilas Paswan said actions have rightly instilled the "fear" among those selling "sub-standard products".

SP anti-Dalit, Maya worse: Ram Vilas Paswan
Tue, Jun 16, 2015

Paswan accused Mayawati of 'dividing Dalits into sub-castes', 'separating Pasis and Khatiks' and not doing anything even for her own caste.

NDA to campaign jointly in Bihar, Amit Shah meets Ram Vilas Paswan
Sat, Jun 13, 2015

BJP started discussions over seat-sharing with its allies and during the Shah-Paswan meeting, it was decided that all NDA allies will campaign jointly.

Maggi row raises serious questions about fast food quality, says Ram Vilas Paswan
Tue, Jun 09, 2015

Paswan said his ministry was planning to amend the Consumer Affairs Act to act against those involved in “misleading” advertisements.

Maggi row: Planning stricter law on food safety, says Paswan
Fri, Jun 05, 2015

Paswan said that any action against Nestle and Maggi at the national level could be taken only after receiving tests results from different states.

An ally cautions: ‘We did not send right signals’
Tue, May 26, 2015

Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan: Whatever could be achieved in a year was achieved, the controversies courted by certain elements in the BJP had not sent the “right signal”

BJP has issued notices to some people… but notices not enough: Ram Vilas Paswan
Tue, May 26, 2015

In assessing his government’s first year, Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan says controversial remarks from within BJP and affiliates have sent wrong signals.

Narendra Modi changed his image, now a man of development, says Paswan
Tue, May 19, 2015

On Bihar polls, Paswan said he would talk of seat-sharing at an opportune time and his party would accept the CM candidate chosen by BJP.

Ambedkar memorial in Delhi should have same status as Rajghat: Ram Vilas Paswan
Wed, Apr 15, 2015

Paswan also advocated reservation in the private sector and the judiciary.

Ram Vilas Paswan dismisses Janata Parivar: ‘Sau langde don’t make a pehalwan’
Tue, Apr 07, 2015

Ram Vilas Paswan was addressing a Dalit Mahapanchayat in Varanasi.

Ram Vilas Paswan slams Nitish govt for sloppy paddy procurement
Sat, Mar 21, 2015

Paswan said a total of 8.71 crore beneficiaries were listed for subsidised ration under the Food law in Bihar.

‘The crux is that industry has to be promoted’
Tue, Mar 03, 2015

Ram Vilas Paswan talks to Santosh Singh on LJP’s change of stand on land acquisition Bill and Bihar politics ahead of state polls. Excerpts:

LJP seeks clarity over some provisions of land acquisition law
Wed, Feb 25, 2015

Paswan said that LJP put its views across in the meeting of NDA members on Tuesday.

Paswan re-elected LJP President
Mon, Feb 16, 2015

The party draws its strength from Paswan's appeal among a section of Dalits in the eastern state.

After sweet deal from Centre, CM promises better prices for sugarcane farmers
Sun, Jan 18, 2015

As per the Centre’s guidelines, farmers should be paid Rs 2,200 per tonne for the sugarcane as FRP.

Existing laws enough to take care of forceful conversions: Paswan
Wed, Jan 07, 2015

Paswan said he merely means that existing laws are enough.

Centre plans to develop common national market, says Ram Vilas Paswan
Fri, Jan 02, 2015

NDA government is in talks with various state governments to amend APMC Acts.

Modi govt has nothing to do with issues like religious conversion, says Paswan
Wed, Dec 31, 2014

Dismissing question whether the saffron outfit is dictating terms to PM, Paswan said Modi is not influenced by RSS.