Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan passed away in New Delhi on Thursday evening. He was 74. The Lok Janshakti Party founder and Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution had recently undergone a heart operation at a private hospital.
He was elected to Lok Sabha eight times and also held the record of winning his constituency, Hajipur, with the highest margin for several years.
A state funeral will also be accorded to him. Home Ministry has announced the national flag will fly at half mast in Delhi and capitals of all states and union territories today as a mark of respect to the departed leader.
On the day of the funeral, the National Flag will be flown at half mast at the place where the funeral will take place.
Paswan’s body will be brought to his Janpath residence in New Delhi today and then flown to the party’s office in Patna in the afternoon.
Cremation will take place in Patna tomorrow. President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a host of dignitaries have condoled his demise.
In a tweet, Mr Kovind said, in his demise, the nation has lost a visionary leader.
President said, he was among the most active and longest-serving members of parliament and was the voice of the oppressed, and championed the cause of the marginalized.
Expressing grief, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he is saddened beyond words as his death has left a void in the nation that will perhaps never be filled. Mr Modi described his demise as a personal loss.
Prime Minister said, he has lost a friend, valued colleague and someone who was extremely passionate to ensure every poor person leads a life of dignity.
Mr Modi said, Paswanji rose in politics through hardwork and determination. Prime Minister said, as a young leader, he resisted tyranny and the assault on our democracy during the Emergency.
Mr Modi said, the LJP founder was an outstanding Parliamentarian and Minister, making lasting contributions in several policy areas.
Home Minister Amit Shah has expressed grief over his demise.
In series of tweets, Mr Shah said Paswan always fought for the welfare and the rights of the poor and the deprived.
Home Minister said, the veteran leader always kept national interest and public welfare paramount in his political life and his demise has created a void in Indian politics.
In his condolence, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said, Paswan fought for the rights and issues of the downtrodden and backward classes in the country throughout his life. He also remembered him as an active and lively cabinet minister and leader.
Several leaders, including his cabinet colleagues, chief ministers and governors, also expressed their condolences.