Maharashtra CM, Governor condole Gopinath Munde's death

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Mumbai, Jun 3: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Governor K Sankaranarayanan expressed shock over the demise of Union Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde.

"I am shocked over the passing away of Gopinath Munde. He was humble and polite and a grassroot leader. He had the ability to make friends cutting across party lines and maintained the friendship," Chavan told reporters.

"He told me that he will utilise his post for benefit of Maharashtra," he said adding that Munde had a big role to play in the success of the Sena-BJP alliance in Maharashtra in the Lok Sabha polls.

In a condolence message, the Governor said: "The sudden and untimely demise of Gopinath Munde barely one week after becoming the Union Minister for Rural Development, has caused deep anguish and sorrow to the people of Maharashtra. He was one of the most charismatic leaders who had the potential to provide leadership to the state and assume even higher responsibilities at the national level."

An organisation man, Munde had risen to the ranks in public life by dint of hard work, especially for the poor and the downtrodden. Despite holding various positions in public life, Munde never lost touch with the masses at the grassroots level, he said.

He was an astute parliamentarian who left his imprint on every position that he held in public life, be it as the leader of the Opposition, as state home minister, as a deputy chief minister or as general secretary of his party, he said.

"Munde's contribution to the state was vast and varied. He was a Lok Nayak," the governor said. He conveyed condolences to Munde's family and to his countless admirers.

State PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said Munde was like a brother to him. "After I lost the Nashik Lok Sabha seat, he called me and said not to lose hope," Bhujbal recalled. NCP state president Bhaskar Jadhav said fate had cruelly cut down Munde's journey.

Munde, 64, the OBC face of BJP in Maharashtra died apparently of shock and cardiac arrest suffered during a road accident early this morning in New Delhi.

After serving as legislator, minister, deputy chief minister and deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, he had gotten the opportunity to serve as a Union minister.


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