Prez, PM, others express condolences
New Delhi, Oct 8: Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan passed away in a Delhi hospital on Thursday after a prolonged illness.
He was 74.
In a tweet, his son and LJP leader, Chirag Paswan, MP from Jamui in Bihar, said, “Papa is no more in this world, but I know wherever you are, you are always with me. Miss you Papa.”
The senior Dalit leader from Bihar had been unwell for a few weeks. He had been suffering from a heart condition for a long time.
He was admitted into Escorts Hospital here. He had undergone heart surgery and was likely to undergo another one in a few weeks.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Minister Amit Shah had called up Chirag Paswan to enquire about the health of the Union Minister.
Considered to be one of India’s prominent Dalit leaders, Ram Vilas Paswan has had an active political career of over five decades.
He has been a part of the Narendra Modi government since 2014 and has held several portfolios.
He was currently holding the portfolio of Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders of several political parties expressed condolences on his death.
In a condolence message, the President said, ”in the demise of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, the nation has lost a visionary leader. He was among the most active and longest-serving members of parliament. He was the voice of the oppressed and championed the cause of the marginalized.”
In a condolence message, the PM said ”Mr Ram Vilas Paswan Ji rose in politics through hard work and determination. As a young leader, he resisted tyranny and the assault on our democracy during the Emergency. He was an outstanding Parliamentarian and Minister, making lasting contributions in several policy areas
I am saddened beyond words. There is a void in our nation that will perhaps never be filled. Mr Ram Vilas Paswan Ji’s demise is a personal loss. I have lost a friend, valued colleague and someone who was extremely passionate to ensure every poor person leads a life of dignity.”
CPM leader Sitaram Yechury, express his condolences, said, ”Deepest condolences on the passing of my friend Ram Vilas Paswan. We had been associated for many decades, in times when he stood with India’s secular and democratic order. My solidarity with the family and Chirag Paswan in their moment of grief.”
Congress leader and former Union Minister Kapil Sibal said, ”Sorry to learn of the passing away of a valued colleague and friend Ram Vilas Paswan. My heartfelt condolences to @iChiragPaswan and the family. May his soul rest in peace.”
Dalit leader Jitan Ram Manjhi said India lost a great leader with Paswan’s death and he lost a big brother.
“This tragedy is unbearable for me. His absence will always trouble me,” Manjhi added.