Union Minister Piyush Goyal on 9 October was assigned the additional charge of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. He was given the additional charge following the death of Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) founder and union minister Ram Vilas Paswan.
Goyal is currently serving as the Minister of Railways and Minister of Commerce and Industry in the NDA-led government.
Ram Vilas Paswan was hospitalized for the past few weeks and passed away on 8 October evening at the age of 74 at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. He was elected to Lok Sabha eight times and also held the record of winning with high margins from his constituency Hajipur.
His Son Chirag Paswan broke the news on his Twitter handle. Paswan recently underwent heart surgery in Delhi. He has served as the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in central government.
Paswan, who is from Bihar, will be cremated in state capital Patna tomorrow. Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will represent the central government and the union council of ministers at the funeral.
He died just days before a Bihar assembly election that holds high stakes for his son Chirag Paswan.
Paswan was one of India’s most prominent Dalit leaders and an eight-time Lok Sabha MP. He has been a minister in almost all central governments formed since 1989 and served six Prime ministers, starting with the cabinet of VP Singh. He founded the Lok Janashakti Party in 2000.
He was part of several BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) governments.
Politicians across party lines expressed their grief upon receiving the news of Paswan’s death.
This morning, PM Modi and a number of leaders paid tributes to the Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) leader at his Delhi home. PM Modi was accompanied by senior BJP leaders including BJP chief JP Nadda. “I have lost a friend, valued colleague and someone who was extremely passionate to ensure every poor person leads a life of dignity,” the Prime Minister had tweeted on 8 October.