Leaders across parties condole Deshmukh's demise

Vilasrao Deshmukh
Mumbai, Aug 14: A pall of gloom descended on Maharashtra following the death of Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, with leaders cutting across party lines condoling his untimely demise.

The Congress veteran and twice Chief Minister of the state died at a hospital in Chennai this afternoon due to serious liver ailment.

Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan, in a condolence message from Pune, said the country had lost an "astute and pragmatic" leader with vast and varied experience in political life.

Calling Deshmukh a mass leader with the immense popularity, the Governor said his untimely death had snapped a "promising political career" and caused a void in the political scene of the state. He has also cancelled the Independence Day reception scheduled for tomorrow in Pune.

Describing Deshmukh as an "able administrator, a mass leader and distinguished parliamentarian", BJP president Nitin Gadkari said, "People of Maharashtra will never forget the work done by him for the benefit of the state.

"Deshmukh had a special interest in the development of Marathwada and Vidharbha. The Mihaan project went ahead because of his sincere efforts," Gadkari said, adding his death was a great loss for the Congress.

"It is a big jolt to the Congress. We learnt a lot from him," state Congress chief Manikrao Thakre said. Thakre said the party will continue the good work started by Deshmukh.


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