Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who was last week elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Bihar, Monday took oath as a member of of the upper house. When the House met for the day, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu called for new members to take oath.
Mr Paswan, who has been elected to the Rajya Sabha for the second time in his political career that began as a Sanyukt Socialist Party MLA in the 1960s, took oath in Hindi. His previous election to the Upper House was in 2010, when he entered Parliament with support of then ally the RJD a year after having lost his Hajipur Lok Sabha seat.
He resigned from the Rajya Sabha in 2014, two years ahead of the expiry of his term, when he wrested back the Hajipur seat contesting as a NDA candidate. The Lok Janshakti Party leader was on Friday elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Bihar. He was elected to the Upper House in a by-poll necessitated after the resignation of his cabinet colleague Ravi Shankar Prasad, who got elected to the Lok Sabha from the Patna Sahib seat in the 2019 general elections.
He had not contested the general elections and chose the Rajya Sabha route to Parliament. The Hajipur seat, which he has won a number of times and on a couple of occasions with a record margin, has been retained by his younger brother and state LJP president Pashupati Kumar Paras.
BJD-backed BJP candidate Ashwini Baishnab, who was elected to the upper house from Odisha, too took oath. After the oath, Venkaiah Naidu asked Mr Paswan how many times has he been elected to Parliament. To this Mr Paswan replied, "Eleven times. Nine as Lok Sabha member and twice as Rajya Sabha." "And Sharad Pawarji?," Mr Naidu asked. The NCP chief immediately replied, "14." Mr Naidu said it is good to have such experienced parliamentarians in the House.
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