Paswan loses traditional Hajipur seat (Lead)

May 16th, 2009 - 5:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Ram Vilas Paswan Patna, May 16 (IANS) A disappointed Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan, who lost in his traditional constituency of Hajipur, said Saturday that had people in the constituency voted for development he would not have lost.
“Haar jeet toh lagi rahti hai (Winning and losing is part of the game). Had people voted for development, we would not have lost in Hajipur. People in the constituency cannot say that development work was not carried out there,” a dejected Paswan told reporters after his loss in the Bihar constituency from which he had won with a margin that was once a world record.

“I have got factories, railway zonal office, institute for hotel management built there but still lost,” said Paswan, steel minister in the outgoing United Progressive Alliance government.

Asked if the loss was because the party broke off its alliance with the Congress, Paswan said: “It would be very immature to say whether we lost because of the Congress factor. It is matter of introspection.”

Paswan snapped ties with the Congress-led UPA before the elections to join hands with the Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Janata Dal, which have also suffered losses in the elections.

Paswan was defeated by Ram Sundar Das of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) by over 25,000 votes.

Das, a former Bihar chief minister, is known for his honest and clean image in state politics.

Paswan is a respected Dalit leader, whose defeat surprised everyone as it was expected that it would be very difficult to beat him in Hajipur, about 25 km from Patna.

This was the second time that Paswan lost the elections in Hajipur. The first time was in 1984. Paswan first represented the constituency in 1977.

Paswan won in 1977 with a margin of 424,000 votes that sent him straight to the Guinness records. The record was broken in 1991 when Congress candidate P.V. Narasimha Rao won from the Nandyal Lok Sabha seat by over 500,000 votes after becoming prime minister.

During the poll campaign last month, Paswan roped in his son Chirag - whose debut film is almost ready for release - to help out in Hajipur.

Chirag requested people to vote for his father and promised to turn Hajipur into a hub of prosperity. “Please vote and ensure my father’s victory once again with a record margin to turn Hajipur into a hub of development and prosperity,” Chirag pleaded with voters during the campaign.

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