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.
In his long political career, Paswan worked with many prime ministers and served as India’s mines, steel, and telecommunication and information minister among other portfolios.
Paswan and his party represented India’s socially disadvantaged classes, which make up about three-quarters of the majority Hindu population that is about 80% of India’s 1.3 billion people.
The LJP enjoys considerable support in Paswan’s home state of Bihar in the east.
State elections in Bihar will start at the end of October and will be spread over three days, and Chirag Paswan, a lawmaker, is leading the LJP into the voting to the state legislature.