8 October: Remembering Ram Vilas Paswan on his Punya Tithi

8 October: Remembering Ram Vilas Paswan on his Punya Tithi

Ram Vilas Paswan (5 July 1946 – 8 October 2020), an Indian politician. He was the president of the Lok Janshakti Party. He remained one of the prominent leaders of Indian Dalit politics. In the 17th Lok Sabha, he was given the charge of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. Ram Vilas Paswan was the union minister in the National Democratic Alliance government. In August 2010, he was elected as a member of the Bihar Rajya Sabha and was made a member of the Committee on Personnel and Pension Affairs and Rural Development. He was born on 5 July 1946 in Khagaria, Bihar, British India.

Family and Personnel life

Paswan was born in Shaharbanni, Khagaria district, Bihar, to a Dalit family on 5 July 1946. Jamun Paswan was his father, and Siya Devi was his mother. From Kosi College in Khagaria and Patna University, he got a bachelor’s and master’s degree, respectively.

He’s been married twice.  Usha and Asha are his daughters from his first wife. He has a son and a daughter from his second marriage. His son Chirag Kumar Paswan is an actor-turned-politician.

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Genesis of leader and political career

As a member of the Samyukta Socialist Party, Paswan was elected to the Bihar state legislature in 1969. In 1972, he lost to Shri Mishri Sada of the Congress in Alauli.

Paswan became the Lok Dal’s general secretary in 1974 after becoming an ardent follower of Raj Narain and Jayaprakash Narayan. Among the anti-emergency leaders, he was close to Raj Narain, Karpoori Thakur, and Satyendra Narayan Sinha.

During the 1975 emergency in India, Paswan was jailed for the entire time. Following his release in 1977, he joined the Janata Party and won election to Parliament for the first time from Hajipur with a record margin (later broken) of 424,000 and 89.3% votes, perhaps an all-time record for a general election.

In 1989, Paswan was elected to the 9th Lok Sabha and appointed Union Minister of Labour and Welfare.

In 1996, he won again from Hajipur, and he even led the ruling alliance or Proposition in the Lok Sabha as the prime minister was a member of the Rajya Sabha. Paswan also became Union Railway Minister in this year. He held that post until 1998. Paswan then served as Union Communications Minister from October 1999 to September 2001, when he was shifted to the Coal Ministry.

Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) was formed in 2000 when Paswan left Janata Dal. In 2002, he resigned as minister and left the NDA. As a result of the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, Paswan joined the United Progressive Alliance government and was made Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers and Steel. As a Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister Ram Vilas Paswan announced an additional subsidy of Rs 22,000 crore to the fertilizer industry in that financial year

Following the 2014 Indian general election, Paswan won the Hajipur constituency in alliance with BJP, while his son Chirag Paswan won the Jamui constituency in Bihar. In May 2014, Paswan was given the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, which he held through the Second Modi term.

Death and immortality

Ram Vilas Paswan died on 8 October 2020 at the age of 74. Prior to his death, Paswan had undergone heart surgery. Paswan was cremated in Patna on 10 October 2020.

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