Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan passes away days after surgery
Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who was ailing for quite some time, has passed away, tweeted his son Chirag Paswan on Thursday evening. The consumer affairs minister was 74.
“Papa .... Now you are not in this world but I know you are always with me wherever you are. Miss you Papa…,” tweeted Chirag Paswan, with a throwback photo of his father hugging a younger him.
Watch | Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan passes away, son Chirag Paswan shares news
A stalwart of the socialist movement who later emerged as Bihar’s foremost Dalit leader with following across the country, Ram Vilas Paswan was instrumental in the implementation of the Mandal Commission report in the 1990s.
Paswan is the second union minister to die in the space of two months - Suresh Angadi died of coronavirus in September.
In November last, after helming the Lok Janshakti Party for 19 years, Paswan stepped down from his post to make way for the appointment of his son and MP Chirag Paswan as the new party president.
He was elected to Lok Sabha eight times and also held the record of winning his constituency, Hajipur, with the highest margin for several years.
He was a minister in central governments headed by parties of contrasting ideological persuasions, ranging from the Janata Dal to the Congress and the BJP, since 1989.
As the news of the leader’s death percolated, tributes poured in for him.
“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,” tweeted President Ram Nath Kovind.
“A firebrand socialist in youth, mentored by the likes of Jayaprakash Narayan during anti-Emergency movement, Paswan ji had enviable rapport with masses and he ardently strove for their welfare. Condolences to his family and supporters,” read the President’s second tweet.
In a series of tweets, Prime Minister Narendra Modi noted how ‘insightful’ Paswan’s interventions used to be during cabinet meetings. The PM called it a “personal loss” and hailed Paswan as an “outstanding Parliamentarian”.
“Working together, shoulder to shoulder with Paswan Ji has been an incredible experience. His interventions during Cabinet Meetings were insightful. From political wisdom, statesmanship to governance issues, he was brilliant. Condolences to his family and supporters. Om Shanti,” said PM Modi in one of the three tweets.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the “poor-downtrodden lost a strong political voice today”, while Priyanka Gandhi reminisced the family association and how he was a neighbour of her mother Sonia Gandhi for years.
“Ram Vilas Paswan ji has been a neighbor of my mother for years and we had a personal relationship with his family. The news of his demise is deeply sad. My deepest condolences to Chirag ji and all the family members. We are with you in this sad hour,” tweeted Priyanka Gandhi.
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