‘Poor, Dalit have lost a strong voice’: Congress leaders condole death of Ram Vilas Paswan

A host of Congress leaders condoled the demise of Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday with Rahul Gandhi saying that with his passing away, the poor and Dalits have lost a strong political voice.

“The news of untimely demise of Ram Vilas Paswan ji is tragic. The poor and Dalit have lost a strong political voice today. My condolences to his family,” Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel described Paswan as a champion of the downtrodden, who had immense faith in India’s pluralism and diversity.

“Chirag, shocked to hear about the demise of your father. Ram Vilas Paswan ji was a champion of the downtrodden and had immense faith in India’s pluralism and diversity. It’s a big loss for the nation. My condolences to you, your family and all his supporters,” he said on Twitter.

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said he was shocked to hear the sad news of the death of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan. “He was deeply committed to the upliftment of the downtrodden. His demise has left a vacuum which will be difficult to fill. My heartfelt condolences to his family. May the departed soul rest in peace,” he said.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, “Ram Vilas Paswan ji has been a neighbour of my mother for years and we had a personal relationship with his family. Deeply saddened over the news of his demise. My deepest condolences to Chirag ji and all the family members. We are with you in this sad hour.” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said he was deeply hurt by the demise of Paswan.

“Shri Paswan left an indelible mark in the country’s politics and raised the voice of the underprivileged. He played an active role in the eradication of poverty in the UPA government along with Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh. Emotional tribute,” he said on Twitter. Union minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan died on Thursday.

Paswan (74), who was the Lok Janshakti Party patron, had undergone a heart surgery at a hospital here 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.

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