Photographs: PTI photo
Following the demise of Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde after a road accident, ministers from across the political spectrum paid tribute to the minister.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Extremely saddened & shocked by the demise of my friend & colleague Gopinath Munde ji. His demise is a major loss for the nation and the government. Gopinath Munde ji was a true mass leader. Hailing from backward sections of society, he rose to great heights & tirelessly served people.”
"My tributes to a dynamic leader whose premature demise leaves a void hard to fill. Condolences to Munde ji’s family. We stand by them in this hour of grief.”
President Pranab Mukherjee
Expressing shock, grief and sorrow, President Pranab Mukherjee released a statement. It read, ‘Munde’s passing away is a huge loss for the people of Maharashtra and India. In his death, we have lost a veteran leader who always worked for the common man.”
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 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.”
Aaditya Thackeray, the head of the Sena Yuva also took to Twitter. Tweeting from his handle @AUThackeray, he said, “Saddened, shocked and shaken beyond the capacity of expressing my feelings in words on the passing away of Munde ji this morning. Even as I think of expressing anything, memories from very many years of interacting with him on happy/ sad/ tense occasions rush back. Ofcourse a great loss for the state, for politics, but more so for us, someone who and whose family has been closest friends across parties.”
Home Minister Rajnath Singh also reacted to the loss. Taking to Twitter, he said, “Gopinath Munde’s death is an irreparable loss to the Bharatiya Janata Party and he has left a big void in Mahrashtra’s political and social life. Deeply shocked to know of Shri Gopinath Munde’s demise. He was a grassroots leader and known for his concern for poor people and farmers.”
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted, “Condolences to Gopinath Munde’s family. I am shocked to know about sudden demise of my senior colleague Shri Gopinath Munde. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.”
Chief Minister-elect of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu tweeted, “Shocking & sad to know about Gopinath Munde ji's death in a road accident. Great loss to NDA. My condolences to the family.”
Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel tweeted her condolences on her handle @anandibenpatel. “Shocked at the sudden demise of Shri Gopinath Munde ji. My deepest condolences to his family and followers. We will all miss his presence.”
Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted his condolences on his handle @ChouhanShivraj.“Saddened to hear the untimely death of our beloved Rural Development Minister Shri Gopinath Munde. My sincere condolences.”
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh also took to Twitter to pay his condolences. “Shocked to hear the sad demise of Gopinath Munde a personal friend and a great leader. My heartfelt condolences to the family.
Congress Leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted about his shock through his handle @ShashiTharoor. “Shocking news of demise of Gopinath Munde at his political peak. Sincere condolences to Munde family, BJP and his government colleagues.”
Union Tourism Minister Shripad Naik termed the demise of Gopinath Munde as an irreversible loss for the party. “It is an irreversible loss for the BJP. Munde was among those leaders who were instrumental in growth of party in Maharashtra, Goa and also nationally. He was like a mentor for Goa BJP leaders. Whenever we required any advice, he was available. We have lost someone who is closest to us.”
Shiv Sena spokesperson said Maharashtra has suffered an irreparable loss in the BJP leader’s death. "In the new regime, he was the top most leader from the state in Delhi. Munde was a grassroot leader and was the most popular. We never saw him losing his temper and he was always found in the midst of party workers. It is not just the Sena-BJP which has lost a towering leader, but Maharashtra has also faced an irreparable loss. Mundeji had a very warm and affectionate relationship with the Shiv Sena leadership. He worked hard to get new allies in the Sena-BJP combine and made inroads in the Congress-NCP stronghold of western Maharashtra in the recent Lok Sabha polls.”
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also took to Twitter. “Shaken at the news of Gopinath Munde passing away. I have lost a friend.”
Rashid Alvi, the Congress leader, said, “Very painful news,I can't believe it. Munde ji was a senior and hardworking leader.”
The Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah also expressed his grief at Munde’s demise. “Very sorry to hear about the tragic & untimely death of Gopinath Munde. May his soul rest in peace & I pray his family find strength.”
The former Delhi CM and chief of the Aam Aadmi Party said, “V sad to hear the demise of Sh Gopinath Munde. Heartfelt condolence to bereaved family. May his soul rest in peace.”
Ravi Shankar Prasad
Law and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad recalled his association with 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.