Politicos mourn death of former president APJ Abdul Kalam, hail him as 'Missile Man of India'

Leaders across the political spectrum on late Monday night expressed grief over the demise of former president APJ Adbul Kalam. Prime Minister Narendra Modi described him as "marg darshak" (guide). 

Politicos mourn death of former president APJ Abdul Kalam, hail him as 'Missile Man of India'
APJ Abdul Kalam passed away on Monday after he sufferred a massive heart attack during a function at IIM Shillong.

New Delhi: Leaders across the political spectrum on late Monday night expressed grief over the demise of former president APJ Adbul Kalam. Here are the condolence messages:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled Kalam's death and described him as "marg darshak" (guide).

"It is extremely sad news. He took India to new heights as a scientist and as a president and even after that. He was a great visionary and has inspired me to a great extent. I had got a chance to work closely with him. India mourns the loss of a great scientist, a wonderful president and above all an inspiring individual," the Prime Minister said.

"I can't think of a person who combines the quality of simplicity and selfless service to the country the way Dr Kalam did," said BJP Patriarch LK Advani.

Recalling Kalam's popularity, President Pranab Mukherjee termed him as a 'People's President'. 

"He was a Bharat Ratna and people's President. Dr Kalam was immensely popular and greatly admired," Mukherjee said.  

On micro-blogging website Twitter Home Minister Rajnath Singh wrote - “I deeply mourn his death. RIP Kalam Sahab,” 

“The death of Dr. Kalam is an irreparable loss to this nation. He has left a big void hard to fill,” he added.

Former president Pratibha Patil said, “Let me express my extreme sorrow over the demises of the best 'Missile Man' and former president Abdul Kalam. I would like to salute him.”

“Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was people's President. My homage to the great soul,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted.

"We are deeply saddened with his sudden death while speaking before students of IIM," said Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister also expressed his grief over Kalam's death and wrote - "Dr Kalam had many fans in J&K, especially amongst the youth in Kashmir which in itself was no small feat. Rest in peace sir & Godspeed."

“No doughty it is a great loss not only for India but also for the entire world as APJ Abdul Kalam was a great scientist. Upto the end he was very lively. It is also a great loss to the entire mankind,”said Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan in her condolence message.

Former prime minister of India HD Deve Gowda said, “It is very difficult to forget him. I express my depest sowrow over his demise. Not only in Defence he has given a great contributuion in Nuclear. It is very difficult to replace him. Today is the saddest day of  my life. It will be very difficult to fill-up the gap."

While remembering Kalam, Bharat Ratna CNR Rao said, “He was a great man with immense simplicity. He was a great scientist. I was very fortunate while working with him. His dedication toward educating children was simply comendable.”

Congress president Sonia Gandhi also expressed grief:

"I worked very closely with Dr. Kalam as PM and I greatly benefitted from his advice as Pres of our country. His life and work will be remembered for generations to come (sic)," tweeted former prime minister Manmohan Singh.

"I have learnt with profound sorrow about the demise of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Our country has lost a great human being who made phenomenal contribution to promotion of self reliance in defence technologies," he added.

"Deeply saddened at passing away of Dr Abdul Kalam, won over the hearts & minds of a nation with his warmth & wisdom," said Rahul Gandhi in a statement.

Union Minority Welfare Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi tweeted a condolence message along with an old picture with APJ Kalam: "Deeply saddened by demise of ''Rashtrapurush" Dr Kalam, no words to express tribute, his death a huge loss for nation."

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis expressed grief and said, "Kalam saheb taught us to dream big and made us believe that dreams can come true. He led us on the path of making India the superpower. Kalam sahab's demise is a huge loss. Saddened & shocked!"

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar termed the death of former president APJ Abdul Kalam as a personal loss. "This is a personal loss for me. Dr Kalam was a great scientist and eminent social worker. On my request, he had come to Bihar on a number of occasions and guided the development of the state. He had also immensely contributed towards setting up of the Nalanda International University," he said.

Former chief minister and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi both condoled the death of Kalam saying it was an irreparable loss. "He was not just an astute statesman, Kalam was also a scholar and a renowned scientist. Despite being the President, he always used to relate and react with the common people and under his supervision, India's defence system got a huge boost," Lalu said.

"The sudden demise of former president APJ Abdul Kalam was a tremendous loss to the country," said Indian space agency chief AS Krishna Kumar.

Former President APJ Abdul Kalam, 83, a popular head of state between 2002 and 2007, died today after he collapsed during a lecture in Shillong.

Kalam's dead body will be brought to New Delhi tomorrow morning. PM Modi will attend former president's last rites which is scheduled to take place in Rameshwaram.

Meanwhile, Modi government has declared seven days national mourning over Kalam's death.  

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