New Delhi/Mumbai: President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday condoled the death of veteran Congress leader and former union minister Murli S Deora, saying people shall value his significant contribution towards growth and progress of the country.
In a condolence message to Deora's wife Hema, Mukherjee said: "It was with profound sorrow that I learnt of the sad demise of Murli Deora, an esteemed colleague and long-standing friend.
"As a union minister, distinguished parliamentarian, veteran leader and a committed Congressman, Deora had served the nation with dedication."
The president said that in his passing, the nation has lost an eminent leader and social worker, whose long years in public service will be remembered for years to come.
"He leaves behind many memories of his amiable nature and organisational skills. The people of India, especially his home state Maharashtra, shall value his significant contribution towards growth and progress in our country," he said.
Murli Deora died in Mumbai 3.25 a.m. Monday. He was 77. He is survived by his wife and two sons, including former union minister of state Milind M. Deora.
In a separate message, Modi said: "A dedicated leader, Murli Deora's warm nature made him popular across party lines. News of his demise is saddening. My deepest condolences to Milind Deora and the Deora family on Murli Deora's demise. May his soul rest in peace."
The prime minister said he had spoken to the Deora family and enquired about his health Sunday.
"Very sad to hear the unfortunate news today (Monday)," the prime minister said.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi called Deora "a symbol of Congress Party in Mumbai".
"A dedicated political worker, he upheld the Congress party through its thick and thin. His contribution to the nation as a parliamentarian and a minister was remarkable," she said, adding that the entire Congress party stood with the members of Deora's family.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh described Deora as "a popular Congress leader who played an active role in national politics".
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said "we have lost a veteran parliamentarian".
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said Deora's demise was "a personal loss" to him.
The social media was flooded with condolence messages, with many leaders taking to Twitter to express their grief.
"My condolences on the sad demise of Shri Murli Deora, a senior leader and a close personal friend," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tweeted.
"As a senior politician of many decades, Murli Deora was always kind, supportive & accessible to younger ones. An old school gentleman. R.I.P," Biju Janata Dal leader Bijayant Panda said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, both houses of parliament were Monday adjourned after obituary references to Deora.