Leaders Pay Tributes to Gopinath Munde

New Delhi:  President, Vice President, Prime Minister and a host of leaders today paid rich tributes to Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde, who died following a road accident, describing him as a true and dynamic mass leader and a distinguished public servant.

Expressing grief over the untimely demise of 64-year-old Mr Munde, President Pranab Mukherjee said, "In his death, we have lost a veteran leader who always worked for the common man".

Vice President Hamid Ansari said he was "profoundly saddened" at the passing away of Mr Munde.

"Munde was amongst the most prominent political leaders of Maharashtra who had a long and illustrious public life. In his departure, we have lost a distinguished public servant whose absence will be felt by one and all," he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was saddened by the demise of Mr Munde.

"Extremely saddened & shocked by the demise of my friend & colleague Gopinath Mundeji. He was a true mass leader. Hailing from backward sections of society, he rose to great heights & tirelessly served people," Mr Modi tweeted.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Mr Munde's demise was an "irreparable loss" to the nation and hailed him as a true "grassroots leader".

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said she was shocked to know about the sudden demise of her senior colleague.

Mr Munde's Maharashtra colleague and Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar broke down while paying tributes to Mr Munde and said his death was yet to sink in.

"I still cannot believe Mundeji is no longer among us. He was truly a mass leader of Maharashtra," he said.

NCP leader Sharad Pawar described Mr Munde's death as shocking and said, "We have lost a dynamic mass leader".

Congress President Sonia Gandhi conveyed her heartfelt condolence to Mr Munde's family.

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said Mr Munde's death in an accident is a sad and shocking event and offered his condolences to his family and the BJP.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi expressed shock over Mr Munde's "untimely demise".

"Shocked and pained at the untimely death of Munde; a big loss to the nation. Our condolences to the family," Congress leader Ajay Maken tweeted.

Condoling Mr Munde's death, Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh described him as a "personal friend" and "a great leader".

Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed, who had raised the issue of Mr Munde's educational qualification, said he was shocked by the death of the union minister.

Union Minister for Road, Transport, Highways & Shipping, Nitin Gadkari, who was one of the first ones to reach AIIMS after the accident, said in the sad demise of Mr Munde, the nation has lost a great leader.

"He had come up from a humble background and built his strong base in the masses to become a national leader. He was a leader who had insight into both, organisational as well as administrative issues," he said.

Consumer Affairs and Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said Mr Munde was always concerned about the problems of others.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad offered his heartfelt condolences to Mr Munde's family, noting that he believed in the "empowerment" of the poor and deprived.

Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said he was shaken by the news of Mr Munde's death. "I have lost a friend."

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi and Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh also expressed shock and grief over the minister's death. Ms Gandhi termed Mr Munde as an "able and dedicated" leader.

Law and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad recalled his association with Mr Munde, calling him not only a big mass leader but also a very nice human being who would be "jovial and completely informal".

"We are totally devastated with his cruel and unfortunate demise," he said.

Railways Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said Mr Munde worked for the welfare of the common man in his long and illustrious public life.

"Munde was a dedicated and a distinguished public servant and his contribution in social and public life would always be remembered," he said.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad described Mr Munde as "people's leader" and lauded his contribution in serving the people of the country and Maharashtra in particular.

Mr Azad said Mr Munde was known for his hard work and had extremely cordial relations with all the leaders cutting across party lines.

Mr Munde's death is a great loss to the BJP as also to the nation, he said.

HRD Minister Smriti Irani, who paid her last respects to Mr Munde, said she was not in a condition to speak.

Condoling the demise of Mr Munde, BJP's Youth wing chief Anurag Thakur said, "Gopinathji was one of the mass leaders of the party. He was the person because of whom the party did so well in Maharashtra."

Chief ministers of states and other leaders cutting across party lines also paid tributes to the deceased leader.

"In his passing away, the people of India, especially the people of Maharashtra, have lost a great parliamentarian, a great humanist, a true patriot and a person who untiringly served society," Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa said in a statement, terming his death an "irreparable loss" to the people of Maharashtra and BJP cadres.

Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan remembered Mr Munde as an effective orator who rose to heights after starting as a student leader.

Jammu & Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah tweeted, "Very sorry to hear about the tragic & untimely death of Gopinath Munde. May his soul rest in peace & I pray his family find strength".

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said Mr Munde's death was a "huge loss" for the nation as it hoped a great deal of rural development under him. "He had a lot of potential... A sun of development has set."  

Goa CM Manohar Parrikar said it was a "big personal loss". Mr Munde's close association and guidance to Goa BJP will be missed, he said.

Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh also offered his heartfelt condolences at the demise of a "great leader".

Expressing shock over the death of the Minister, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said, "Munde was a leader of the masses who rose to prominence by hard labour and perseverance."

Condoling his death, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren said, "The tragic accident claimed the life of a leader who established his identity as a champion of the downtrodden."

In Hyderabad, Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu said Mr Munde's services to the people as a representative of backward classes were exemplary.

"It was very sad that Munde met with a fatal accident just a week after being sworn-in as Union Minister. It was a deep loss to the country," the TDP president said.

Expressing grief over the demise, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said Mr Munde was a "leader of masses, seasoned politician, an able parliamentarian and above all a social activist with the rare qualities of head and heart."

Punjab deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said Mr Munde's demise was an enormous loss to the nation as well as the NDA government.

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda described Mr Munde as a seasoned parliamentarian who would be long remembered for his distinguished public services.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said Mr Munde's demise was a deep shock for her and the party workers as well.

NDTV Beeps - your daily newsletter

................................ Advertisement ................................

................................ Advertisement ................................

................................ Advertisement ................................