Patna: Veteran Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) parliamentarian Mohammad Taslimuddin died after a prolonged illness in a hospital in Chennai today, family sources said. He was 74 and has left behind three sons and two daughters.
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He represented Araria seat from Bihar in the current Lok Sabha and was a close confidante of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad Yadav. His demise is being considered a huge loss for the RJD.
Taslimuddin, whose political career spanned around five decades, had gone to Chennai last month as part of a parliamentary committee where he fell sick suddenly. He was admitted to the Apollo Hospital, where he died. According to the doctors treating him, he had a serious lug infection.
He enjoyed popularity among the masses; he represented the Bihar assembly seven times and the parliament five times since he began his political career in early 60s with grass-root panchayat (village council) politics. He became the federal minister twice, apart from becoming ministers in the state government.
Controversies also followed him. In the early 90s he was removed as junior minister for Home Affairs in the HD Devegowda government for his criminal background.
Yet he was considered straightforward. He was critical of his party president, Yadav, and didn’t spare chief minister Nitish Kumar either. His death is being considered as a personal loss for Yadav and a huge loss for the party, as he enjoyed massive support base among Muslims and was the undisputed leader of his community in the Seemanchal areas, as Bihar’s eastern region is known.
Kumar condoled his death today, describing it as an “irreparable” loss for the politics and society as well. “He was a great leader and prominent social activist. His death is a great loss for the society and the politics alike,” the chief minister said, announcing that his last rites would be performed with full state honours.
Yadav also too expressed grief over his death and described it as an irreparable loss to the RJD family. Federal minister Ram Vilas Paswan and Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi also condoled his death. “No matter he was in the opposition camp, he was a great socialist and had firm hold over the voters,” said Modi.