New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Union Minister and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) founder Ram Vilas Paswan passed away on Thursday at the age of 74 prolonged illness. Paswan was hospitalised over the last few weeks and had undergone heart surgery on Saturday. The news of his death was confirmed by his son Chirag who in an emotional tweet said that the senior Paswan "will always stay him". 

"Papa .... Now you are not in this world but I know you are always with me wherever you are. Miss you Papa…," he said in a tweet while sharing an old photo of him and his father.

"For the last many days dad is getting treated in a hospital. Due to some sudden developments on Saturday evening, an operation of his heart had to be conducted in the late night. If the need arises, then possibly after a few weeks another operation might be conducted. Thanks to all for standing by me and my family in this hour of struggle," he said in another tweet.

Paswan, who was the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, was in hospital over the last few weeks. His heath had deteriorated had week, following which he went an heart surgery on Saturday.

Following his death, several politicans, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind, expressed their grief and said that his sad demise is a "void in India that will perhaps never be filled", adding that he 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," said PM Modi in a tweet.

President Ram Nath Kovind also paid condolence to the late Union Minister and said that India has lost a 'visionary leader' who had enviable rapport with masses and ardently strove for their welfare.

"He was the voice of the oppressed and championed the cause of the marginalized. 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 Kovind tweeted.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also condoled the death of his cabinet colleague Ram Vilas Paswan, saying his death is personal loss for him and added that it will leave a vaccum in the Indian politics.

Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi also expressed grief and said, "news of untimely demise of Ram Vilas Paswan ji is sad. The poor-downtrodden lost a strong political voice today. My condolences to his family members". 

Paswan had undergone a heart surgery at a hospital in Delhi a few days ago. He had been in active politics for more than five decades and was one of the country's most noted Dalit leaders.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma