'Speechless and sad': From Lalu to Modi, political leaders react to Raghuvansh Prasad Singh's death

Reacting to Singh's death, Lalu Prasad Yadav said, 'I told you the day before yesterday, you are not going anywhere. But you went so far'

FP Staff September 13, 2020 15:00:16 IST
'Speechless and sad': From Lalu to Modi, political leaders react to Raghuvansh Prasad Singh's death

File image of former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh. Twitter/@airnewsalerts

Raghuvansh Prasad Singh's death has left a "deep void in Bihar and national politics, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi as prominent political leaders from all spectrum condoled the death of the former Union Minister.

Singh died at 11 am on Sunday after complaining of breathlessness and other complications, PTI reported. In June, he tested positive for the novel coronavirus and was admitted at AIIMS Patna. He was taken to AIIMS in the National Capital recently following post- COVID-19 complications.

Tribute to 'grassroots leader'

Modi described Singh, who died at AIIMS, New Delhi, after prolonged illness, as a grassroots leader with deep understanding of poverty and problems of the poor.

He also obliquely referred to "churning" that the departed leader faced in his last days, hinting at his disenchantment with his party the RJD and its leader Lalu Prasad.

"An inner 'manthan' (churning) was going on in him during his last days. He remained true to the ideology he believed in..In the recent past, he had been in news.

"He was obviously in a state of inner turmoil since it had no longer remained possible for him to be by the side of his old associates. Finally, he gave expression to his feelings through the letters he wrote from the hospital bed, the prime minister said.

Modi made the remarks before dedicating to the nation three petroleum projects via video conferencing in Bihar.

The prime minister recalled his interactions with Singh when the RJD leader was a Union minister and he the chief minister of Gujarat.

I had occasions to interact with Raghuvansh babu many times. We used to take part in TV debates long back, putting forth our respective points of view. He used to represent his party while I used to represent the BJP as an office-bearer of the organisation, said the prime minister.

"I was worried about his health and often inquired about him," Modi said.

Speechless and sad, tweets Lalu

President Ram Nath Kovind termed Singh a "true stalwart with phenomenal understanding of rural India."

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav also condoled Singh's death and said, "I told you the day before yesterday, you are not going anywhere. But you went so far. I am very sad and I will miss you."

Singh had resigned from the primary membership of RJD on Thursday and followed it up with an open letter, a day later, addressed to the RJD supremo's arch-rival and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, triggering speculations about his future moves.

Manoj Kumar Jha, RJD spokesperson, also paid a heartfelt tribute to Singh, saying, "The sudden demise of Raghuvansh babu's demise makes one realise how an era can end in just a moment. The entire RJD family is shocked over his sudden demise. May God give strength to his family, friends and the RJD family to bear his loss."

Singh, former Union Minister for Rural Development in the Congress-led UPA-I government, was one of the founding members of the RJD.

Leaders from other political parties also expressed grief over Singh's death.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, "With Raghuvansh Prasad Singh's demise, a strong voice for villagers and farmers is now gone. His service and dedication towards villages and farmers, and his struggle for social justice will always be remembered."

A statement on Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren's official Twitter handle said, "Chief Minister Hemant Soren has expressed grief over the demise of former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh. The chief minister said that he was a mass leader who was simple at heart. His death is an irreparable loss.

With inputs from PTI

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