Bihar Assembly Elections 2015: Know your leader Profile - Ram Vilas Paswan

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Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan in known in political circles for correctly judging which way the wind is flowing for he has held key ministries under various prime ministers.

The LJP chief whose party enjoys popularity amongst dalit voters in Bihar is hoping to repeat its Lok Sabha poll success in the upcoming Bihar Assembly polls. Bihar will face five-phase assembly polls on Oct 12, Oct 16, Oct 28, Nov 1, Nov 5. The poll results will be declared on Nov 8, Sunday.

Let's take a look at the brief profile of Ramvilas Paswan who has always aspired to be Bihar's Chief Minister.

Ram Vilas Paswan's political journey

Date and place of birth: July 5, 1946, Khagaria district, Bihar.

Family history: Born in a scheduled caste family of Bihar's Shaharbanni village in Khagaria district, Paswan went on becoming a popular Dalit face in state's politics.

A graduate in Bachelor of Laws and a postgraduate in Master of Arts degrees from Kosi College, Khagaria and Patna University, Paswan has four children from two wives. His son Chirag Paswan, borne from second wife, is carrying forward his political legacy.

Political career: 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. He too belongs to the league of anti-emergency politicians and was an ardent follower of Raj Narain and Jayaprakash Narayan and went on becoming the general secretary of the Lok Dal.

He parted ways with Morarji Desai and joined Janata Party-S led by Lokbandhu Raj Narain as party's president and later as its Chairman.

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.

Paswan entered Lok Sabha for a record ninth time in 2014 polls. Only exception for Paswan when he was not a part of the Lok Sabha was in 2009 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.

Performance as Union Minister: He held cabinet berth during the prime ministership of HD Deve Gowda, AB Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh and now under Narendra Modi. He has held key cabinet portfolios in Railways, Ministry of Mines, Ministry of Communication and IT, Chemicals and Fertilizers Ministry, and Ministry of Consumer Affairs under various PMs.

After 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.

Gamble of alliance with Lalu backfired in 2009 LS polls: In 2009 Paswans's gamble of contesting Lok Sabha polls in alliance with Lalu Prasad's RJD and keeping Congress out did not pay off when his LJP drew a blank and he himself lost from his safe seat of Hajipur.

Re-alliance with NDA: The 67-year-old Union Minister 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.

The popular Dalit face from Bihar is associated with the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at Centre and is serving as the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

Formation of LJP: In 2000 Paswan broke from the Janata Dal, to form the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP). Banking upon its performance in last year's general elections, the party, had won 6 out of 7 seats it had contested, is now hoping to secure 50+ seats in the Bihar Assembly this time. 

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