Sunday, November 27, 2022

Ram Vilas Paswan: Always Politically Relevant

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  • Ram Vilas Paswan cleared the Bihar Civil Services exam in 1969 and qualified to become a deputy superintendent of police. But he rejected the offer and decided to take the plunge into politics.
  • In 1969, he was elected as an MLA from the Samyukta Socialist Party in Alauli, Khagaria, Bihar.
  • In 1975, his career was interrupted when, as one of the political opponents of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, he was arrested and imprisoned during the Emergency, He was released in 1977.
  • That year he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Hajipur constituency by a record margin of 4.24 lakh votes. This also earned him a place in the Guinness Book of Records. He broke his own record in 1989 from the same seat, winning by over 5 lakh votes.
  • He was elected to the Lok Sabha nine times and twice to the Rajya Sabha.
  • He lost only twice from Hajipur—in 1984 and 2009.
  • Paswan was arguably the tallest Dalit leader from Bihar after Babu Jagjivan Ram.
  • As cabinet minister in the VP Singh government, getting the Mandal Commission report implemented in 1990 was a memorable achievement for him.
  • Paswan served in the cabinets of six prime ministers: VP Singh, HD Deve Gowda, IK Gujral, AB Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi.
    Read Paswan obituary: Ram Vilas Paswan

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