New Delhi: Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray died in Mumbai on Saturday. The 86 year old founder of the Sena was ailing and being treated at his home in Matoshree in Bandra East.
As soon as the news of his death was announced, the BJP which is in alliance with the Shiv Sena in the state announced that they would cancel the dinner meeting with the Prime Minister slated for Saturday evening. The Prime Minister's Office also tweeted saying that the dinner with the UPA allies was cancelled.
Here are some of the other political reactions:
Dr Manmohan Singh on Twitter (@PMOIndia): He founded the Shiv Sena and built the party into a formidable force in the State politics with his strong leadership."
LK Advani, Senior BJP leader: This loss has left a gaping void in nation's politics.
Sushma Swaraj, Senior BJP Leader: There are few people who have the courage to speak what they believe in. His persona and stature was as tall as the Himalayas. He was an inspiration. I was very fortunate to have his affection.
Nitin Gadkari, BJP President: He was anxious for Maharashtra's progress. When I was Public Works Department (PWD) minister, he supported many projects which I completed. He was very clear about his views and always expressed them. His political life cannot be forgotten. He was a staunch follower of Hindutva, and was a pioneer of Marathi identity. This has been a deep shock for all of us. His life is exemplary for the rest of us.
Murli Manohar Joshi, Senior BJP Leader: He was a journalist, and a warrior. I want to express my condolences. Hope Shiv Sena maintains his place and legacy.
Prithviraj Chavan, Maharashtra Chief Minister: Maharashtra has lost a veteran and experienced leader having multifaceted personality. He was a warrior leader.
Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat: He was fighting like a warrior. But at the end, we are all left sad. He used to fight and love with vigour. He was away from corridors of power. He started his party on his own terms. He never compromised. We have lost a patriotic symbol in his death.
Mamata BAnerjee, West Bengal Chief Minister: Though, I did not get an opportunity to interact with him personally, yet I found him as a person of exceptional organisational qualities. He played a major role in Indian politics for a long time.
Nitish Kumar, Bihar Chief Minister: A political era in Maharashtra politics has come to an end after the passing away of the octogenerian Shiv Sena leader.
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, BJP Spokesperson on Twitter (@naqvimukhtar): "Son of Soil", "King of Commitments" is No more.... My Heartfelt Condolences to Bala Saheb....
M Karunanidhi, DMK Leader: Loved (Bal) Thackeray's affection and simplicity when he met me in Mumbai. Thackeray never compromised anything for people of his state.His son Udhav leads the organisation well just like his father.
Anna Hazare, Gandhian and activist: He was a warrior. He knew how to gauge the pulse of the people. The country will suffer a loss with his death.
Milind Deora, Congress MP from South Mumbai on Twitter (@milinddeora): Ideologies & politics aside, Balasaheb was unique & his influence on Maharashtra politics is undeniable. Often imitated but never duplicated.
Sachin Tendulkar: Really sad to hear about Balasaheb's demise. His contribution to Maharashtra was immense. It's a terrible loss and he will always be remembered and missed. Unfortunately I am in Ahmedabad as I would have liked to pay my last respects personally. My condolences to his family. May God rest his soul in peace.