Paswan’s last rites tomorrow with state honours

Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, one of the tallest Dalit leaders in Bihar and founder of the Lok Janshakti Party, has passed away at the age of 74.

Home Ministry officials said state funeral will be accorded to Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan who passed away Thursday night and the national flag will fly at half-mast in Delhi and State capitals on Friday as mark of respect.

Ram Vilas Paswan — minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet and the founder of the Lok Janshakti Party — died on Thursday at a Delhi hospital where he was recuperating from heart surgery.

His son Chirag Paswan tweeted: “Papa… Now you are not in this world but I know you are always with me wherever you are. Miss you Papa.” He shared a throwback photograph with his father.

Twitter was flooded with tributes for the departed leader. Among the first to tweet was President Ram Nath Kovind, PM Modi, Congress’s Rahul Gandhi, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad.

“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’s post read.

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.

The rise of Paswan was meteoric both in Bihar politics and also at the national level and with a decade of becoming a parliamentarian for the first time, Paswan became union minister for the first time in 1989 when he was a MP for the fourth consecutive term.