Indian Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan, died Thursday from complications from heart surgery at a New Delhi hospital, his son, Chirag, confirmed.

“Now you are no more in this world but wherever you are, you will be with me,” the younger Paswan tweeted while sharing a picture of his father who represented the lower caste Dalit community.

Paswan was a minister in the central government’s cabinet since 1989 and served six prime ministers. He formed the Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP), People’s Power Party, and joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s alliance that helped him win elections in 2019.

Modi expressed grief about the death of the veteran politician.

“I am saddened beyond words. There is a void in our nation that will perhaps never be filled. I have lost a friend, valued colleague, and someone who was extremely passionate to ensure every poor person leads a life of dignity,” he tweeted.

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