New Delhi, Oct 9 (IANS) President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation on Friday in paying tributes to Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who passed away last night, at the latter’s residence here.
Among those who paid floral tributes to the late Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) founder were BJP National President JP Nadda, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Ravi Shankar Prasad, and Giriraj Singh.
The Prime Minister consoled Ram Vilas Paswan’s wife and son Chirag Paswan.
Earlier, the body of Ram Vilas Paswan was brought to his official residence at 12 Janpath on Friday morning from the hospital where he breathed his last. Followers of Ram Vilas Paswan queued up to pay their last respects to their leader.
LJP chief and his son Chirag Paswan broke the news on Twitter on Thursday night. “Papa …. Now you are not in this world but I know you are always with me wherever you are. Miss you Papa,” he tweeted, with a throwback photo of his childhood where Ram Vilas Paswan is seen hugging him.
The body of the late Dalit leader would be kept at his Delhi residence till 2 pm, after which it would be flown to Patna for cremation on Saturday.
In Patna, Paswan’s body would be kept at the LJP office for people to pay tributes to their leader.
The Union Minister had undergone a heart surgery last Friday.
Meanwhile, the national flag was flying at half mast in Delhi and state capitals and UTs as a mark of respect to the late Minister.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a notification in this regard on Thursday, and that a State funeral would be accorded to Paswan.
Ram Vilas Paswan, 74, who had completed 50 years in active politics last year, was first elected as an MLA in 1969.
His death came just days after Chirag Paswan decided to leave the NDA in Bihar and fight the Assembly polls on his own.
One of the leading Dalit leaders in the country, Ram Vilas Paswan had been Minister in the Narendra Modi government, the Manmohan Singh-led UPA-1 government as well as the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government at the Centre.
Born in Khagaria district of Bihar on July 5, 1946, he had been selected for the state police service but chose to join politics.