Patna. Ram Vilas Paswan, the leader of Lok Janshakti Party in Bihar, who had been missing from newspapers and television channels for more than a year giving rise to speculations about his existence, was suddenly traced to a Rajya Sabha election victory and rescued by a team led by Lalu Prasad Yadav and a few others last Friday. The self styled dalit leader appeared to be in good health when he met media persons after a long time.
“I am thankful to Laluji and all my well wishers, and all of you can see that I’m perfectly fine. You can ask any questions on any issue of any importance to me now. I’m ready.” Paswan told media persons as his eyes shone after seeing microphones and cameras of various media companies directed at him.
Paswan was found safe in the Rajya Sabha elections by the rescue team, and after a brief medical checkup, doctors declared him fit for talks with media persons. Paswan used the opportunity to talk about the strained relationship between JD-U and BJP, Bhopal Gas Tragedy, reviews of Raavan and even FIFA world cup. He seemed happy to get back to the mainstream.
Paswan had gone missing on the morning of 16th May 2009 shortly after reports of his defeat in the Lok Sabha elections from Hajipur constituency went public. Earlier, he had won with a world record margin from the same constituency. Various theories were doing the round about his disappearance before he re-appeared last Friday after Rajya Sabha election results were announced.
Talking to media persons with a renewed vigor and energy after his rescue, he denied that he had lost his way and hence gone missing; he also denied that he had gone into hiding or was held captive by his detractors in the last one year.
“There was a power cut in my area and I was struggling with some of the issues arising out of that.” Paswan explained his period of nonexistence and hoped that he would get back some power in his area with his Rajya Sabha victory.
RJD President Lalu Prasad Yadav, who played the central role in rescuing the missing dalit leader, informed that a total of 132 rescue workers, 3 pick-up trucks and 28 buffaloes were employed to search Paswan and bring him back to the mainstream.
“We did it out of our goodwill. We are not asking anything in return.” Lalu said as Paswan nodded silently beside him.