Ram Vilas Paswan
|Ram Vilas Paswan (NDA)|
|Member of Rajya sabha|
|Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers|
23 May 2004 – 22 May 2009
|Succeeded by||M. K. Alagiri|
|Minister of Mines (India)|
1 September 2001 – 29 April 2002
|Preceded by||Sunder Lal Patwa|
|Minister of Communications and Information Technology|
13 October 1999 – 1 September 2001
|Succeeded by||Pramod Mahajan|
|Minister of Railways|
1 June 1996 – 19 March 1998
|Preceded by||C. K. Jaffer Sheriff|
|Succeeded by||Nitish Kumar|
5 July 1946 |
|Spouse(s)||Reena Paswan, Raj Kumari|
|Children||Chirag Paswan (son) and 3 daughters|
|As of September 14, 2009
Early life and education
||This section is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (September 2009)|
Paswan was elected to the Bihar state legislative assembly in 1969 as a member of the Samyukta Socialist Party ("United Socialist Party") from a reserved constituency. In 1974, as an ardent follower of Raj Narayan and Jayaprakash Narayan Paswan became the general secretary of the Lok Dal. He was personally close to the prominent leaders of anti-emergency like Raj Narayan, Karpoori Thakur and Satyendra Narayan Sinha.
In 1975, when emergency was proclaimed in India, he was arrested and spent the entire period in jail. On being released in 1977, he became a member of the Janata Party and won election to Parliament for the first time on its ticket, and he held the world record for winning election by highest margin. He was re-elected to the 7th Lok Sabha in 1980 and 1984 from Hajipur constituency. In 1983, he established the Dalit Sena, an organization for Dalit emancipation and welfare.
Paswan was re-elected to the 9th Lok Sabha in 1989 and was appointed Union Minister of Labour and Welfare in the Vishwanath Pratap Singh government. In 1996 he even led the ruling alliance or Proposition in the Lok Sabha as the Prime Minister was a member of the Rajya Sabha. This was also the year when he first became the Union Railway Minister. He continued to hold that post till 1998. Thereafter, he was the Union Communications Minister from October 1999 to September 2001 when he was shifted to the Coal Ministry, the portfolio he held till April 2002.
In 2000 Paswan broke from the Janata Dal (United), to form the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP). Following the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, Paswan joined the United Progressive Alliance government and was made the Union Minister in Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers and Ministry of Steel.
In the February 2005 Bihar State elections, Paswan's party LJP along with the Indian National Congress contested the election. The result was that no particular party or alliance could form a government by itself. However, Paswan consistently refused to support either Laloo Yadav, whom he accused of being extremely corrupt, or the right-wing National Democratic Alliance thereby creating a stalemate. This stalemate was broken when Nitish Kumar succeeded in persuading 12 members of Paswan's party to defect; to prevent the formation of a government supported by LJP defectors, the Governor of Bihar, Buta Singh dissolved the state legislature and called for fresh elections, keeping Bihar under President's Rule. In the November 2005 Bihar state elections, Paswan's third-alliance was utterly devastated; the Laloo Yadav-Congress alliance reduced to a minority and the NDA formed the new government.
Paswan has declared that the Bihar state elections have no influence on the Central Government, which will continue with both him and Laloo Yadav as ministers. Paswan has served as a Union Minster under five different Prime Ministers and holds the distinction of continuously holding on to a cabinet berth in all the Council of Ministers formed since 1996 (as of 2009). He also holds the distinction of being part of all the national coalitions (the United Front, the National Democratic Alliance and the United Progressive Alliance), which have formed the Indian Government from 1996 to 2009.
For the Indian general election, 2009 Paswan forged an alliance with Lalu Prasad Yadav and his Rashtriya Janata Dal, while dumping their erstwhile coalition partner and leader of the United Progressive Alliance, the Indian National Congress from the new alliance. The duo was later joined by Mulayam Singh's Samajwadi Party and were declared the Fourth Front. He lost the elections from Hajipur to the Janata Dal (United)'s Ram Sundar Das, a former Chief Minister of Bihar for the first time in 33 years. His party the Lok Janshakti Party was not able to win any seats in the 15th Lok Sabha, while his coalition partner Yadav and his party too failed to perform well and were reduced to 4 seats.
Paswan spent his early years in Shaharbanni village in Khagaria district of Bihar. He was born to a scheduled-caste Dusadh, Dalit family. He has two daughters from his wife Raj Kumari. However, he lives with Reena Sharma-Paswan, a Punjabi Brahmin from Amritsar, and they have a son and a daughter.
While campaigning for Bihar elections in 2005, both Ram Vilas Paswan and Lalu Prasad Yadav used a look-alike of Osama bin Laden to woo Muslim voters. The lookalike would dress like bin Laden, accompany them in their helicopter to various election meetings, share the stage with them and make speeches that attacked the United States for its alleged anti-Muslim activities. Pramod Mahajan, senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party And Hitendra Singh Rajawat, had criticized both leaders for this by saying that they were "glorifying the name of a man who is recognized as the most wanted terrorist in the world."
- "Rajya Sabha members bioprofile". National Informatics Centre, New Delhi and Rajya Sabha. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "List of Minister of Railways of India on Indian Railways Fan Club website". Indian Railways Fan Club. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "मां-बेटे की जोड़ी को आखिर वोटरों ने क्यों नकार दिया? - Bihar Assembly Election 2010 - www.bhaskar.com". raftaar.in. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
- "PIB :: Profiles". pib.nic.in. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
- "Total Revolution". archive. Retrieved 2006-12-02.
- "Details of Member : Shri Ram Vilas Paswan". archive. Retrieved 2009-02-12.
- Mishra, Bisheshwar (January 19, 2005). "Paswan employs Osama clone". The Times of India. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
- Mishra, Deepak (May 3, 2011). "The other Osama who had a brief brush with fame". The Telegraph (Calcutta). Retrieved September 14, 2012.
- Profile on Ambedkar.org
- Profile on HindustanTimes.com dated June 2004
- Homepage on Lok Sabha website
- Paswan Profile on TribuneIndia
- Paswan and Indian Muslims