The death of Ram Vilas Paswan Thursday triggered an outpouring of rich tributes for the Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) patriarch. The 74-year-old politician was in critical condition with multiple organ complications. He had undergone a heart surgery in a Delhi hospital a few days ago.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the demise of Paswan, saying that he lost a “friend and a valued colleague” and that the void due to his death “will perhaps never be filled”.
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. pic.twitter.com/2UUuPBjBrj
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 8, 2020
A Dalit leader from Bihar and an eight-time Lok Sabha MP, Paswan had been serving as the Union Minister of Food and Public Distribution in the Narendra Modi-led NDA government. He was a minister in central governments headed by parties of contrasting ideological persuasions, ranging from the Janata Dal to the Congress and the BJP, since 1989.
Leaders cutting across the political spectrum have also expressed their grief and condolences. Aside from PM Modi, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP President JP Nadda have all spoken to Chirag on the phone offering their condolences, the LJP said in a statement.
Among the first to tweet their condolences was President Ram Nath Kovind, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad.
President Ram Nath Kovind: “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. 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.”
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar: “I am personally saddened by the death of Union Minister and popular politician Ram Vilas Paswan ji. His death is an irreparable loss to Indian politics. May his soul rest in peace.”
Sushil Kumar Modi: ” We are all saddened by the demise of Ram Vilas Paswanji. Bihar can never forget his contribution. I had a relationship with him for 30 years. My humble tribute.”
रामविलास पासवान जी को विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि। pic.twitter.com/iafD6NKzCR
— Sushil Kumar Modi (@SushilModi) October 8, 2020
Union Home Minister Amit Shah: ” The mind is extremely disturbed by the demise of Ram Vilas Paswan ji, who is always fighting for the welfare and rights of the poor and the deprived. In his political life, he always kept national interest and public welfare paramount. His death has created a void in Indian politics.”
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi: “The news of untimely demise of Ram Vilas Paswan ji is sad. The Dalit community lost of one its strong political voice today. My condolences to his family.”
Congress leader Sonia Gandhi: “My deepest condolences on the passing away of Shri Ram Vilas Paswan. A towering personality, who stood with the cause of social justice and empowerment of the most marginalized, Shri Paswan will be forever remembered for asserting the cause of social and political equity. I remember his long association as an ally and as a competent and dynamic minister of the UPA. My thoughts are with his wife, Chirag and all the family members, friends and followers in this moment of loss and grief”
Sharad Yadav: “I am hurt by the news of the death of Ram Vilas Bhai, a dear and dear friend of my struggle. Today the country has lost a capable politician. My condolences to the bereaved family in this hour of grief. I pray that Chirag gets the strength to serve the country by following in his father’s footsteps.”
Lalu Prasad Yadav: “I am extremely sorry to hear the sad news of untimely demise of Rambilas Bhai. The unbroken relationship of the last 45 years and all the social, political battles fought with them is floating in the eyes. Rambilas brother, you left early. I am not in a position to say anything more than this.”
Priyanka Gandhi: “Ram Vilas Paswan ji has been a neighbor of my mother for years and we had a personal relationship with her family. The news of his demise is deeply sad. My deepest condolences to Chirag ji and all the family members. We are with you in this sad hour.”
Ravi Shankar Prasad: “Ram Vilas was a senior minister in the Government of India. I was the Minister of State for Coal Mines for the first time in Atalji’s government. His death is an irreparable loss to the country. My humble tribute.”
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