Ram Vilas Paswan was born on born 5 July 1946 in a Hindu Dusadh family.Paswan spent his early years in Shaharbanni village in Khagaria district of Bihar. He has two daughters from his wife Raj Kumari. However, he lives with Reena Sharma-Paswan, a Punjabi Brahmin from Amritsar, and they have a son and a daughter. He holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Arts degrees from Kosi College, Khagaria and Patna University.
Paswan was elected to the Bihar state legislative assembly in 1969 as a member of the Samyukta Socialist Party (“United Socialist Party”) from a reserved constituency. In 1975, when emergency was proclaimed in India, he was arrested and spent the entire period in jail. On being released in 1977, he became a member of the Janata Party and won election to Parliament for the first time on its ticket, and he held the world record for winning election by highest margin. He was re-elected to the 7th Lok Sabha in 1980 and 1984 from Hajipur constituency. In 1983, he established the Dalit Sena, an organization for Dalit emancipation and welfare.
Paswan was re-elected to the 9th Lok Sabha in 1989 and was appointed Union Minister of Labour and Welfare in the Vishwanath Pratap Singh government. Thereafter, he was the Union Communications Minister from October 1999 to September 2001 when he was shifted to the Coal Ministry, the portfolio he held till April 2002. In 2000 Paswan broke from the Janata Dal (United), to form the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP). Following the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, Paswan joined the United Progressive Alliance government and was made the Union Minister in Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers and Ministry of Steel. Paswan has served as a Union Minster under five different Prime Ministers and holds the distinction of continuously holding on to a cabinet berth in all the Council of Ministers formed since 1996 (as of 2009). He also holds the distinction of being part of all the national coalitions (the United Front, the National Democratic Alliance and the United Progressive Alliance), which have formed the Indian Government from 1996 to 2009.
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. His party the Lok Janshakti Party was not able to win any seats in the 15th Lok Sabha, while his coalition partner Yadav and his party too failed to perform well and were reduced to 4 seats.
Ram vilas paswan’s party L.J.P is backed by leaders like ramchandra paswan and shree kumar singh and noted film maker Prakash jha who contested unsuccessfully as a L.J.P candidate.