'Nation has lost a visionary leader': President Ram Nath Kovind condoles demise of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan

President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday offered condolences on demise of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and said that nation has lost a visionary leader.

“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.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted his condolences. "I am saddened beyond words. There is a void in our nation that will perhaps never be filled. Shri 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," his post read.

Ram Vilas Paswan was Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in the Narendra Modi government. He was also a minister in the previous NDA government.

He had undergone heart surgery in a Delhi hospital. Paswan was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1977 on a Janata Party ticket from Hajipur in Bihar.

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