Union Minister and founder of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader Ram Vilas Paswan passed away on Thursday following illness. He was 74.
His son Chirag Paswan confirmed it on Twitter. Taking to Twitter, Chirag Paswan wrote: "Papa, you are no more in this world now but I know that wherever you are, you are with me. Miss you Papa."
The demise of Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan came as a shock to leaders across the political circle. Several political leaders including President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid their tributes to the late leader.
Ram Vilas Paswan has been a Member of Parliament from the Lok Sabha from 1977 till 2009, after which he entered the Rajya Sabha in 2010 and later entered the Lower House in 2014 in the Narendra Modi government.
Ram Vilas Paswan, who was the Lok Janshakti Party's founder, had been active politics for more than five decades and was one of the country's most noted Dalit leaders.
Born in Khagaria in 1946, Paswan was selected as a police official but chose the calling of politics and became an MLA for the first time in 1969 on a Samyukta Socialist Party ticket. 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.
Always at the forefront of raising issues concerning the disadvantaged sections of society, he was also a skillful grassroots politician who enjoyed good equations with leaders across the spectrum, and his dedicated following in his state ensured that every national party courted him in his over five decades of career.
Ram Vilas Paswan in 1983 floated Dalit Sena, the outfit which his brother Ram Chandra Paswan headed later. In 1975, when emergency was announced, Paswan was arrested and spent the entire period in jail. On being released in 1977, he became a member of the Janata Party and won election to Parliament for the first time. Paswan was re-elected to Lok Sabha in 1980 and 1984 from Hajipur constituency.
It was in 1983, he founded and floated Dalit Sena, an organisation for Dalit emancipation and welfare. The Dalit Sena was later headed by his brother Ram Chandra Paswan. Dalit Sena was constituted to fight against the injustice with the scheduled castes and raise voice for their rights. The Dalit Sena is now headed by Pashupati Kumar Paras.