New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Veteran Bihar leader and former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh passed away on Sunday morning in Delhi's AIIMS hospital, where he was undergoing treatment for lung cancer. The 74-year-old politician had served as Union Minister for Rural Development in Manmohan Singh-led UPA-I government. Singh was a close associate of former Bihar chief minister Lalu Yadav and remained in RJD until a few days ago when he resigned without citing any specific reason. However, Lalu wrote him back and said he was not going anywhere and that the two will talk about it once he is out of the hospital.

Reacting to his death, Lalu said: "Dear Raghuvansh Babu! What have you done? I told you the day before yesterday, you are not going anywhere. But you went so far. I am speechless. I am sad. Will miss you very much."

President Ram Nath Kovind also offered his condolences and said that Singh was an outstanding leader with a phenomenal understanding of rural India.

"The passing away of Raghuvansh Prasad Singh is tragic. An outstanding leader rooted to the ground, he was a true stalwart with a phenomenal understanding of rural India. Condolences to his family & followers," the President said.

LJP chief and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that his death is a big blow to the politics of Bihar and also expressed his sorrow, praising Singh as a politician who focused on the issues and fought for social justice.

"The death of Raghuvansh Prasad Singhji, a senior leader of RJD, is a big blow to the politics of Bihar. Raghuvansh babu always did politics based on issues and throughout his life he fought for social justice and the rights of the exploited, deprived and backward. May his soul rest in peace," Paswan tweeted.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is also admitted to Delhi's AIIMS, offered his condolences and praised the former RJD leader for his dedication to the welfare of the poor and deprived sections.

"Deeply saddened by the demise of Bihar's senior leader #RaghuvanshPrasadSingh. His entire life was devoted to the thoughts of Lohia ji & Karpoori Thakur ji. His dedication to the welfare of poor and deprived section will always be remembered," Shah wrote on Twitter.

Lalu Yadav's son and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said that the leader was suffering from lung cancer.

"Passing away of Raghuvansh Prasad Singh has left us alone. I had met him recently in AIIMS, Delhi where he was admitted. We were in regular contact with the doctors who were treating him, they told us that he was suffering from lung cancer," news agency ANI quoted Tejashwi as saying.

Posted By: Shashikant Sharma