Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution: Ram Vilas Paswan
Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (June 2019 – Present): Ram Vilas Paswan
Date of Birth: July 5, 1946
Place of Birth: Khagaria, Bihar
Parents: Paswan was born into a Dalit family.
Spouse: Paswan has married twice. During the 1960s, he married Rajkumari Devi and divorced her in 1981. He has two daughters – Usha and Asha – from this marriage. In 1983, he married Reena Sharma, an airhostess. They have two children as well – a daughter and a son named Chirag who has dabbled in acting but is now a politician.
Political Party: Paswan is a member of the Lok Janashakti Party and has also been affiliated with Janata Dal and Janata Party.
Education: Paswan graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree from the Kosi College in Pilkhi and completed his M.A (Master of Arts) from Patna University.
Career: Paswan entered politics early on in life. It was in 1969 that he was elected to the state legislative assembly of Bihar. At that time, he was a member of the Samyukta Socialist Party. It was from a reserved constituency that he won this election. In 1974, he became the general secretary of Lok Dal as he was a devout follower of Jayaprakash Narayan and Raj Narain. He also shared close personal relationships with various other leaders who opposed the Emergency, such as Karpoori Thakur and Satyendra Narayan Sinha.
However, he later parted ways with Morarji Desai and joined Janata Party (Secular) that was being led by Raj Narain. At first, he was the president of the party and later became its chairman as well. In 1975, Emergency was proclaimed in India. At that time, he was put behind bars and spent the whole time in jail. He was released in 1977, and then became a member of the Janata Party. It was as a member of this party that he won an election to the Lok Sabha for the first time.
Political Milestones: One of the first major political milestones of Paswan’s career as a politician was working as the Union Minister of Labour and Welfare. He was in this post from December 5, 1989 to November 10, 1990. Thereafter, he was the Union Minister of Railways from June 1,1996 to March 19,1998.
He has also served as the Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology from October 13, 1999 to September 1, 2001. He worked as the Union Minister of Mines from September 1, 2001 to April 29, 2002. He also served as the Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers from May 23, 2004 to May 22, 2009. After losing the 2009 general elections, he has also served as a member of the Rajya Sabha from July 2010 to 2014.
It was from May 26, 2014 that he has been in his present profile as the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. In a glittering political career, he has been elected as Lok Sabha MP (Member of Parliament) several times from the Hajipur constituency from 1977 onwards.