Rural Development Minister and the OBC face of BJP in Maharashtra Gopinath Munde died apparently of shock and cardiac arrest suffered during a road accident on early Tuesday morning.
64-year-old Munde, who made his entry into the Union Cabinet for the first time after the Lok Sabha polls, was on his way to the airport when his car was hit by another vehicle at Prithviraj road-Tughlak road roundabout in the heart of the capital.
President, former Prime Minister and a host of leaders paid rich tributes to Munde, describing him as an ‘outstanding politician’ and a great leader.
Expressing grief over the untimely demise of Munde, President Pranab Mukherjee said the country has lost a veteran leader who always worked for the common man. Expressing his shock, grief and sorrow over the untimely demise of Munde, Mukherjee said that his passing away is a huge loss for the people of Maharashtra and India.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray described him as an ‘outstanding’ politician as he said it was unfortunate that the senior BJP leader expired at a time when he got a big responsibility. “I had friendly relations with him (Gopinath Munde) from a long time. It feels very bad that an outstanding politician like him expired so suddenly,” Thackeray said.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condoled the death of Munde following a road accident here. In a letter to Munde’s wife, the former Prime Minister said, “I am deeply saddened to learn about the sudden passing away of Munde in the unfortunate road accident. I send you and your family my deepest condolences in this hour of grief. Gursharan joins me in praying that you have the strength to bear the irreparable loss. May his soul rest in peace.”
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan too expressed shock over the demise of Munde saying the late BJP leader had created a space for himself in the socio-political field through hard work and years of struggle. “I am shocked over the passing away of Gopinath Munde. He was humble and polite and a grassroot leader. He had the ability to make friends cutting across party lines and maintained the friendship,” Chavan said.
Condoling the sudden demise of Union Minister Gopinath Munde, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said it is “extremely shocking” and the nation has lost a great leadership. “He had come up from a humble background and built his strong base among the masses to become a national leader. He was a leader who had insight into both, organisational as well as administrative issues,” Gadkari said in a statement.
Expressing grief over the death of Munde, Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi said that he was a veteran politician and a social worker. “The death of Munde is an irreparable loss in the field of social work and politics,” Manjhi said.
(With PTI inputs)