Patna: A seasoned politician, Ram Vilas 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.
Known in political circles for correctly judging which way the wind was blowing, the 67-year-old Lok Janshakti Party leader will be a prominent Dalit face of the new government.
The only exception for Paswan was the five-year period from 2009 to 2014, 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.
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.
With his latest victory, Paswan will enter Lok Sabha for a record ninth time. 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.