Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani condoled the demise of Shiv Sena supremo, saying the country has lost a great leader.
"I am deeply saddened by the passing away of Balasaheb Thackeray, the founder-president of the Shiv Sena. The nation and the state of Maharashtra have lost a great leader, whose robust patriotism matched his soaring popularity.
"His clear thinking, inspiring oratory and commitment to cause endeared him to the masses," Ambani said in a statement here today.
Thackeray, who had been critically ill for last few days, passed away yesterday afternoon at his residence
'Matoshree' in suburban Bandra.
"He was a legend and commanded respect from people irrespective of their ideologies due to his eloquence and charisma," HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh told PTI, reacting to the death of the 86-year-old this afternoon. Stating that Maharashtra has lost a patriarch, Parekh reminisced about the multiple evenings he had spent with the Shiv Sena founder and said the late leader was a "visionary" and pro-industry.
Bajaj Auto chairman Rahul Bajaj recalled how Thackeray helped in sorting out a workers-related issue at his manufacturing facility saying he had great relations with the Shiv Sena supremo even though he had ideological differences with him. "We had different political views. But I have thoroughly enjoyed and learned a lot from the multiple dinners and a few lunches I have had with him," Bajaj, who also visited the Sena chief's residence during his illness a couple of days back, said.
Auto major Mahindra and Mahindra chairman Anand Mahindra tweeted, "Thackeray was both revered and feared. Maharashtra was his pride and passion. Citizens of this state will miss their champion".
Hiranandani Constructions MD Niranjan Hiranandani said, "He (Thackeray) never aspired to be either the chief minister or any other position of power in terms of government or authority. He was proactive about business and wanted Maharashtra to progress".
Hiranandani said there was never an occasion when the Sena chief did not show his lighter side and interspersed conversation with his sense of humour. "There was never an occasion when I met and he did not have a joke to share," he said.
Bajaj also echoed similar sentiments, reminiscing how Thackeray used to talk disdainfully of his strictly vegetarian eating habits but also appreciated that the industrialist consumed alcohol.