India's food minister Paswan dies after weeks in hospital
Veteran Indian politician Ram Vilas Paswan, a federal minister and an ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling coalition, died on Thursday after weeks in hospital, his son Chirag Paswan said in a Tweet. He was 74.
Paswan, India's Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, was admitted to a city hospital on Sept. 11 and underwent heart surgery on Oct. 4.
In his role as food minister, Paswan oversaw the world's biggest food welfare programme. Under its multi-billion dollar food aid, the government gives ultra-cheap rice and wheat to India's millions of poor people.
"I am saddened beyond words," Modi said in a Tweet reacting to news of his death. "There is a void in our nation that will perhaps never be filled."