Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has died, his son and Lok Janshakti Party chief, Chirag Paswan, informed on Thursday. He was 74. "Father, you are no more in the world but I know you will always be with me... Miss you papa," the leader tweeted. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Dalit icon was a friend and valued colleague, who rose in politics through hardwork and determination.
"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," PM Modi tweeted.
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
Shri Ram Vilas Paswan Ji rose in politics through hardwork and determination. As a young leader, he 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. pic.twitter.com/naqx27xBoj— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 8, 2020
Working together, shoulder to shoulder with Paswan Ji has been an incredible experience. His interventions during Cabinet Meetings were insightful. From political wisdom, statesmanship to governance issues, he was brilliant. Condolences to his family and supporters. Om Shanti.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 8, 2020
President Ram Nath Kovind also tweeted his respects for the leader.
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.— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) October 8, 2020
Deeply shocked & moved to learn about untimely demise of our very revered veteran leader & a very respected senior in Union Ministry Sh #RamVilasPaswan ji. My sincerest condolences!
May God give our young friend Chirag @iChiragPaswan & the family the strength to bear this loss.
"Ram Vilas Paswan Ji's death is a very sad news. The poor-Dalit section has lost one of its main political voices. My condolences to his family," Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted in Hindi.
Chirag, shocked to hear about the demise of your father !
Ram Vilas Paswan ji was a champion of the downtrodden and had immense faith in India's pluralism & diversity.
It's a big loss for the nation. My condolences to you, your family and all his supporters https://t.co/8Nj9h5YxhY— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) October 8, 2020
End of an era!
Sad at the passing away of senior leader, illustrious Parliamentarian and Union Cabinet Minister Shri Ram Vilas Paswan. His life & times are a lesson of how strong determination can take one to the zenith of one's career.
Condolences @iChiragPaswan & family. pic.twitter.com/ThZY6hCMkM— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) October 8, 2020
Mr Paswan "underwent a heart surgery" earlier this week at a Delhi hospital, his son Chirag Paswan had tweeted.
"Over the last few days, my father was being treated at a hospital. Yesterday night, due to the situation that had suddenly emerged, he had to undergo a heart surgery. If required, another operation may be needed. At the time of need, I thank you all for standing by our side," he had written.