I lost a valued colleague, friend: PM Modi, on the demise of Ram Vilas Paswan

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Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan passed away plunging the socially and economically underprivileged people into grief. His mortal remains are being taken to his home state Bihar for performing last rites. The internationally recognized Messiah of the Dalit community died on Thursday at 74, after a prolonged illness. The founder-patron of the  Lok Janshakti Party had undergone heart surgery at a Delhi hospital some days ago. The Ambedkarite had been in active politics for more than five decades and was instrumental in implementing the Mandal Commission’s recommendations. He worked dedicatedly as the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food, Civil Supplies and Public Distribution to introduce one nation one ration card which is expected to be rolled out by March next. Ram Vilas Paswan worked for the welfare of the people, more so for the deprived and the poor, throughout his life.  He strengthened the socialist movement. In public life, rising from being a student leader to a Member of Parliament and Minister, he throughout upheld constitutional values with sincerity and devotion. His life and ideals will always inspire the nation, says Lok Sabha Speaker OM Birla. Paswan was born in a Dalit family on 5 July 1946 in Shaharbanni, Khagaria district of Bihar to Jamun Paswan and Siya Devi. Paswan held a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Arts degrees from Kosi College, Khagaria, and Patna University. He was appointed DSP in Bihar police in 1969. He is survived by wife, son Chirag and daughters Asha and Usha Paswan. Paswan married Rajkumari Devi in 1960s. In 2014, he disclosed that he had divorced his first wife in 1981. Paswan had two daughters from first wife, Usha and Asha. In 1983, he married Reena Sharma, an airhostess. Their son Chirag Paswan,37,  is an actor-turned-politician representing Jamui from Bihar in the Lok Sabha. Ram Vilas Paswan is often called a dynast by his political opponents. He brought his brothers Pashupati Nath Paras and late Ramchandra Paswan into politics. Of the six seats that the LJP won in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, three are from his family — Chirag, brother Pashupati Kumar Paras and nephew Prince Raj.

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