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Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan passes away
Paswan had been undergoing treatment for heart problems for over a week in a hospital in Delhi, where he died on Thursday. A socialist Dalit leader from Bihar, and founder of Lok Janshakti Party, Paswan had worked as Minister with several Governments at the Centre. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "I have lost a friend, valued colleague and someone who was extremely passionate to ensure every poor person leads a life of dignity."

NEW DELHI, Oct 8: Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution System Ram Vilas Paswan passed away on Thursday evening at a hospital in Delhi where he had been undergoing treatment for heart problems for over a week. A powerful Dalit leader from Bihar, he was 74.

According to his son Chirag, who now heads the Lok Janshakti Party Paswan launched in early 2000s, Paswan was recuperating after a heart surgery on Saturday.

State funeral will be accorded to him and the national flag will fly at half-mast in Delhi and the State Capitals on Friday as a mark of respect.

In politics for over five decades, Paswan had also been a Union Minister in the previous UPA Government. He was eight times Lok Sabha member from Hajipur and currently a Rajya Sabha MP. He was a socialist by ideology and worked under six Prime Ministers, including VP Singh.

"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.

"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.

"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," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

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