Kolkata, Jan.17: The grief of Jyoti Basu's demise overwhelmed the entire political fraternity, as leaders expressed their heartfelt condolences as their last tribute to the Communist patriarch.
Union Finance Minister and head of West Bengal State Congress Pranab Mukherjee said, "He was architect of first United Progressive Alliance government. The nation lost a great Parliamentarian in him."
Expressing her grief on the passing away of Jyoti Basu, the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, "Basu was a leader of stature. I always admired him for his worth ethics."
Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari described Jyoti Basu as "a leader who did politics of principles."
An aggrieved Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who wanted Jyoti Basu to occupy Prime Minister's post as the head of coalition, said, " In Jyoti Basu's death, a great era has come to its end."
Communist Party of India leader D Raja described Basu as "the finest Communist leader".
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said, "It is a sad day for us as we remember the great son of India. He has served for many decades, not only the people of West Bengal, but India...he dedicated his entire life to the nation. He was a great patriot, great democrat and a great human."
In his condolence message, Vice-President Hamid Ansari said that Basu made significant contributions to public life, and especially to the development of West Bengal.
"I have learnt with great shock and deep anguish the unfortunate passing away of veteran leader and former Chief Minister of West Bengal Jyoti Basu. His demise is deeply mourned by the vast numbers of his friends and admirers in the country," Ansari added.