Ram Vilas Paswan,(67),
Constituency: Hajipur (Bihar)
Ministry: Food and Civil Supplies
A prominent leader from the Vanjara community, an OBC group, he is close to Rajnath and Modi. One major factor that helped the NDA’s near sweep of in Bihar. It helped the NDA gain the support of a section of Dalits. Among the winners were his son and brother.
One of the senior most parliamentarians in the Modi cabinet, Paswan also brings to the table ample experience as Union minister.
He has held important portfolios like railways, communications, chemicals and fertilizers, steel and coal.
He has been part of both UPA and NDA and has friends across parties. Though he began his political career in the 1960s as a socialist MLA, he came into the spotlight during the Emergency.
His image as a mass leader was further enhanced by the huge victory margins he would report from Hajipur, his home constituency. Over the years, he has shifted alliances, from Third Front to NDA, then to UPA and, now, back with NDA.