Ram Vilas Paswan, a politician from Bihar and President of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), is the Union minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution in the second term of the Narendra Modi-led central government.
He started his political career as a member of the Samyukta Socialist Party and was elected to the Bihar Legislative Assembly in 1969. Paswan joined the Lok Dal in 1974 and was subsequently appointed as the general secretary of the party.
Later, he came in contact with Jayprakash Narayan and was arrested for his involvement in the anti-emergency movement. When he was released in 1977, he immediately joined the Janata Party. Paswan made his entry into the Lok Sabha in 1977 on a Janata Party ticket. He won the elections from the Hajipur constituency with a record margin and his name was registered in the Guinness Book of World Records. He won the Lok Sabha elections of 1980, 1984, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2004 and 2014 from Hajipur.
In 2000, he formed the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and became its president. Paswan joined the United Progressive Alliance government in its first term in 2004 and was made a Union Minister in charge of ministries of chemicals and fertilisers and steel.
Paswan forged an alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal for the Lok Sabha elections 2009 and dumped the Congress party. He lost the elections from Hajipur to the Janata Dal (United)’s Ram Sundar Das, a former chief minister of Bihar, for the first time in 33 years. The Lok Janshakti Party was not able to win any seat in the 15th Lok Sabha.
Ram Vilas Paswan is known as a politician who smells which way the wind is blowing before anyone else does. He has been a part of Both UPA and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) governments.