'Firebrand socialist' Ram Vilas Paswan passes away at 74: President, PM, politicos of all stripes pay tribute
Announcing Paswan's death, his son Chirag Paswan tweeted in Hindi, 'Papa...you are not in this world today but I know no matter where you are, you will always be with me. Miss you papa'
Politicians from across party lines and various prominent personalities on Thursday condoled the demise of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, remembering his over five-decade career in politics.
Paswan, 74, recently underwent heart surgery before passing away on Thursday evening.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said there is a void in the nation that will perhaps never be filled.
The prime minister said, "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," he said.
Hailing the Lok Janshakti Party patron for his rise in politics through hard work and determination, Modi said as a young leader, Paswan 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," Modi said.
President Ram Nath said the nation has lost a visionary leader in the demise of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan.
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.
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) October 8, 2020
"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, Kovind said in another tweet.
Announcing Paswan's death, his son Chirag tweeted in Hindi, "Papa...you are not in this world today but I know no matter where you are, you will always be with me. Miss you papa."
पापा....अब आप इस दुनिया में नहीं हैं लेकिन मुझे पता है आप जहां भी हैं हमेशा मेरे साथ हैं।
Miss you Papa... pic.twitter.com/Qc9wF6Jl6Z
— युवा बिहारी चिराग पासवान (@iChiragPaswan) October 8, 2020
Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav paid his condolences to Paswan's son Chirag who has been heading the Lok Janshakti Party since November 2019.
Today, Chirag Paswan needed #RamVilasPaswan ji the most when he passed away. Our deep condolences to his family, we are standing with them. I started my political career with Paswan ji, did many election campaigns as RJD & LJP were in alliance in 2010: Tejashwi Yadav, RJD pic.twitter.com/YmuuCPwwTR
— ANI (@ANI) October 8, 2020
Other prominent leaders from Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi, who had all at some point been associated with the Dalit leader, also expressed grief at his death.
केंद्रीय मंत्री एवं लोकप्रिय राजनेता राम विलास पासवान जी के निधन से मुझे व्यक्तिगत तौर पर दुःख पहुंचा है। उनका निधन भारतीय राजनीति के लिए अपूरणीय क्षति है। ईश्वर उनकी आत्मा को शांति दें। https://t.co/sZTRR0iH5N
— Nitish Kumar (@NitishKumar) October 8, 2020
रामबिलास भाई के असामयिक निधन का दुःखद समाचार सुन अति मर्माहत हूँ। विगत 45 वर्षों का अटूट रिश्ता और उनके संग लड़ी तमाम सामाजिक, राजनीतिक लड़ाइयाँ आँखों में तैर रही है।
रामबिलास भाई, आप जल्दी चले गए। इससे ज़्यादा कुछ कहने की स्थिति में नहीं हूँ।
ॐ शांति ॐ
— Lalu Prasad Yadav (@laluprasadrjd) October 8, 2020
रामविलास पासवान जी को विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि। pic.twitter.com/iafD6NKzCR
— Sushil Kumar Modi (@SushilModi) October 8, 2020
Chief ministers of Assam, Kerala and Rajasthan also took to Twitter to pay tribute:
My heartfelt condolences at the passing away of Union Minister & founder of Lok Janshakti Party, Ram Vilas Paswan ji. May God give strength to his family members & supporters to bear this loss. May his soul rest in peace.
— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) October 8, 2020
Deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of Shri. Ram Vilas Paswan. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his family & friends. On behalf of the people of Kerala, I offer our deepest condolences.
— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) October 8, 2020
N Chandrababu Naidu, leader of the Telegu Desam Party, a former NDA ally, also expressed grief at Paswan's demise.
Extremely saddened by the demise of senior leader Sri Ram Vilas Paswan Ji. He was a towering leader who leaves behind a rich political legacy which will remain unparalleled for a long time. The nation will truly miss him and his selfless service! pic.twitter.com/lSCWCqCsZi
— N Chandrababu Naidu #StayHomeSaveLives (@ncbn) October 8, 2020
AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi said that Paswan was someone who had left his mark on the Indian politics and will be remembered for his contributions.
This sudden news of Ram Vilas Paswanji's death is very unfortunate. There's no doubt that Paswanji made a mark in India's political history & will always be remembered. My condolences to his family & friends in this difficult time
— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) October 8, 2020
Paswan had undergone a heart surgery at a hospital a few days ago.
He had been in active politics for more than five decades and was one of the country's most noted Dalit leaders.
He was the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
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