Former foreign minister and Congress veteran Madhavsinh Solanki, who had also served as chief minister of Gujarat, died in Gandhinagar on early Saturday morning, Congress leaders said. He was 93.
'The death of Madhavsinh Solanki has brought extreme grief. May God give peace to his soul. He had made place in the hearts of people by his actions and deeds,' Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda, who is also a relative of Solanki, tweeted.
He had served as External Affairs Minister from June 1991 to March 1992.
Solanki was a two term MP of Rajya Sabha from Gujarat.
He had floated an idea of an alliance of Kshitriya, Harijan, Adivasi (tribal) and Muslim (KHAM) casts and communities in Gujarat for Congress to win elections.
He had been the longest serving chief minister of the state before Narendra Modi became CM.
His son Bharatsinh Solanki is also a former Union minister.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the demise of Solanki and said he was a formidable leader who played a key role in the state's politics for decades.
'Shri Madhavsinh Solanki Ji was a formidable leader, playing a key role in Gujarat politics for decades. He will be remembered for his rich service to society,' Modi said in a tweet.
'Saddened by his demise. Spoke to his son, Bharat Solanki Ji and expressed condolences. Om Shanti,' he said.
Modi also said that beyond politics, Madhavsinh Solanki enjoyed reading and was passionate about culture.
'Whenever I would meet him or speak to him, we would discuss books and he would tell me about a new book he recently read. I will always cherish the interactions we had,' the prime minister said.
Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also condoled Solanki's death and said he will be remembered for his contribution in strengthening the Congress ideology and promoting social justice.
'Saddened by the demise of Shri Madhavsinh Solanki. He will be remembered for his contribution in strengthening the Congress ideology & promoting social justice,' Gandhi tweeted.
'Heartfelt condolences to his family & friends,' he said.