Days after undergoing heart surgery, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has passed away. The news was announced by his son Chirag who took to Twitter with a short post.
Sharing a childhood photo, the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief wrote that Paswan was no longer with us. "But I know that wherever you are, you're always with me. Miss you Papa," he tweeted.
Following the news, condolences have poured in on social media platforms, with politicians across party lines ruing his passing. While many have called this the "end of an era", others recalled fond memories that they had of the politician.
"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," tweeted Prime Minister Modi.
"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," wrote President Kovind.
"Deeply anguished by the demise of Union Minister, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan Ji. He was an exemplary leader who served the people and nation till his last breath. He was a distinguished parliamentarian and always strove for the empowerment of the marginalised," tweeted Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.
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Known for his ability to read the political wind, Paswan had, over his long and illustrious career served as an eight-time Lok Sabha member. Rather interestingly, he has served under six different Prime Ministers - from both the NDA and the UPA.
“Woh sabse bade mausam vaigyanik hain. PUSA wala nahi, ISRO wala..." said Lalu Prasad while talking about Ram Vilas Paswan ahead of the 2014 General Elections. Re-entering the NDA after a gap of around 12 years, the Lok Janshakti Party supremo would soon go on to win the Hajipur constituency seat.
Until his death he had remained the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.