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Ram Vilas Paswan — socialist and champion of downtrodden — dies at 74; nation mourns

Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister and founder of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), has died. Paswan 74, had a heart surgery a couple of days ago in a Delhi hospital.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: October 08, 2020 23:55 IST
Ram Vilas Paswan, socialist and champion of downtrodden, dies at 74; condolences pour in

Ram Vilas Paswan, socialist and champion of downtrodden, dies at 74; condolences pour in

Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister and founder of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), has died. Ram Vilas Paswan had undergone a heart surgery a couple of days ago. However, on Thursday, his son and LJP chief Chirag Paswan informed about his father's demise on his official Twitter handle and said his father will always be with him. "Papa .... Now you are not in this world but I know you are always with me wherever you are. Miss you Papa ..."

Paswan, one of the country's most noted Dalit leaders, had been hospitalised for the last few weeks. He has long suffered from a heart condition, according to reports.

Along with news of his personal health, Ram Vilas Paswan had backed his son to take the call on LJP’s alliances for the upcoming Bihar assembly elections. “I stand firmly with every decision of his. I am confident that with his youthful thinking, Chirag will take the party and Bihar to new heights,” Paswan had said.

Paswan has served as a Union minister under five prime ministers. He was also an eight time member of Parliament in Lok Sabha. He began his political career as a member of Samyukta Socialist Party (SSP). Paswan became a member of Bihar Legislative Assembly in 1969. 

The Ram Vilas Paswan was re-elected five consecutive terms from Hajipur constituency in Bihar. He formed LJP in 2000 and joined Congress-led United Progressive Alliance in 2004.

After being a legislator in assembly for nearly 8 years and protesting against the imposition of emergency in 1975, Paswan entered Parliament for the first time in 1977 and continued to be a Member of Parliament (MP) in Lok Sabha for at least 8 terms. Paswan became union minister for the first time in 1989 when he was a MP for the fourth consecutive term.

Political personalities cutting across party lines consoled Paswan's death.

"Saddened beyond words":  PM Modi 

"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."

"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," PM Modi said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Congress leader Kapil Sibal, Union Minister Jitendra Singh, Jharkhand Chief Minsiter Hemant Soren and several offered condolences to Paswan's family.

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