A Dalit leader from Bihar, Ram Vilas Paswan is the president of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and currently serving as the Union Minister of Food and Public Distribution. An eight time Member of Parliament in Lok Sabha, Paswan went to jail during Indira Gandhi's tenure when emergency was imposed in the country. He began his political career as a member of Samyukta Socialist Party and in 1969 became a member of Bihar Legislative Assembly. Paswan was elected to Lok Sabha
for the first time in 1977 as Janata Party member and for re-elected five consecutive times from Hajipur constituency in Bihar. He formed LJP in 2000 and joined Congress-led United Progressive Alliance in 2004. Ram Vilas Paswan has served as a Union Minister under five prime ministers and his party has been a member of all national coalitions. He hails from Shaharbanni Village in Khagaria District of Bihar and his son Chirag Paswan has also joined active politics.