Describing former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief K S Sudarshan as a "great thinker" and "visionary", BJP leaders on Saturday said his death has left a void in the top echelons of the RSS which will be difficult to fill.
BJP national President Nitin Gadkari said in Nagpur that Sudarshan's death was a big blow to the Parivar.
"He was a staunch nationalist who dedicated his entire life in the service of the nation and made remarkable contribution in promoting and expanding the RSS network," he said.
Gadkari said his death has left a void in the top echelons of the RSS which will be difficult to fill. "His departure marks the end of an era in the Sangh Parivar."
Senior BJP leader L K Advani, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj along with Arun Jaitley and chief ministers of BJP-ruled states are likely to attend the funeral in Nagpur on Sunday, Gadkari said.
Swaraj tweeted that she was fortunate to have received guidance from the former RSS chief.
"Respected Sudarshanji- former Sarsanghchalak left for his heavenly abode this morning. I was fortunate to have lots of affection and guidance from respected Sudarshanji," she said.
Paying her respect to the departed soul, Swaraj said, "His departure is a personal loss. I pay my respect at the feet of respected Sudarshanji."
Sudarshan died on Saturday morning in Raipur after suffering a heart attack.
In Bengaluru, Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar expressed grief over his death.
"Hailing basically from Karnataka, Sudarshan dedicated his entire life to the activities of RSS. He was known for his discipline and efficiency. In his death, the state has lost a great patriot and an exemplary social worker. May his soul rest in peace and may God give the family enough strength to bear the loss", Shettar said in his message.
Deputy Chief Minister and state BJP President K S Eshwarappa described Sudarshan as a "guide for all of us".
Eshwarappa said in Sudarshan's death "the nation has lost a person who always worked and thought for society".