Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray paid tributes to former president Pranab Mukherjee on the first day of the state legislature's monsoon session on Monday, describing him as a sensitive human being who treated others with respect.
Pranab Mukhejee, 84, died in an army hospital in New Delhi on August 31.
Speaking on the condolence motion in the Legislative Assembly, Mr Thackeray said he first met Mukherjee when the latter visited his home "Matoshree" with NCP chief Sharad Pawar as part of his campaign for the presidential polls.
"I realised he was a sensitive human being who treated others with respect. This is a rare quality," Mr Thackeray said.
The chief minister recalled that when Pranab Mukherjee, as president, was in Mumbai a few years ago, he got a call that the visiting dignitary wanted to meet him.
"I went to the Raj Bhavan with Aaditya (Thackeray's son) and (Pranab) Mukherjee told me he never thought he would be the president. But the Shiv Sena openly supported my candidature and facilitated my win. Unfortunately Balasaheb Thackeray is not with us now and my tenure is ending," the chief minister said recalling Mr Mukherjee''s words.
Mr Thackeray also said Pranab Mukherjee congratulated him on the Shiv Sena's win in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation elections.
"Showing gratitude is also a rare quality, otherwise after getting the chair of power everything is forgotten," Mr Thackeray said.
The chief minister also paid homage to former chief minister Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar, and former legislature members Anil Rathod, Chandrakanta Goyal among others, who died recently.
The condolence motion was supported by Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis and other members.
Mr Fadnavis while paying tributes to Mr Mukherjee described him as an excellent parliamentarian and statesman. He also paid tributes to former chief minister Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar.