Ram Vilas Paswan, who created a world record by winning his Vaishali seat by a margin of more than 6 lakh votes in 1977 has been finished with the same impact as the record he created.
The man who wished to be the country's first Dalit prime minister and who had crafted the art of political survival without ever having the numbers into a fine art, may not make a comeback this time. For, his guru, Lalu Prasad, who got him a seat in the Rajya Sabha after his defeat in the parliamentary elections in 2009, is himself incapable of coming back and Paswan may not find another backer for a very long time.
Paswan has been a family man - in power and out of it. While Lalu Prasad had his brothers-in-law to support him, Paswan had his brothers. But like Prasad, he went down like a rock in a pond in the electoral debate over development versus caste.
Paswan's political ground had always been one-dimensional, sticking to his own caste with the support of a smattering of upper caste toughs as opposed to Lalu Prasad's multi-dimensional appeal in his heyday.
With even Paswans rejecting him this time -as is apparent in the results from the Vaishali-Samastipur arc, the fort of extremely backward castes he led, Paswan had to fall by the wayside.
Paswan has no role now, except being a Rajya Sabha MP for the next five years. Beyond that, he is not equipped to take centrestage whether
in alliance or alone - for he is neither a Dalit leader of standing like Mayawati whom he opposes nor does he have the clout to rise above single-caste politics.
Paswan must be credited for pursuing development politics -- the most famous of his efforts being establishing the East Central Railways headquarters in Hajipur. But if this very constituency, which benefited heavily because of him, decided to reject him this time, where does he go?
Apparently nowhere. Number game