Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has condoled the death of Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, saying the State has lost a generous and charismatic leader.
"We have lost a generous and charismatic leader. It`s a big loss to our State. I have lost a friend," Chavan said said in a statement here.
"In fact, we never saw Vilasrao sick or nervous. He always stood gracefully and tall in any situation and faced challenges with smile on his face. He was not only popular in the (Congress) party but had friends in Opposition too.
"Hence, all of us were upset when we heard the news of about his illness. Today in the afternoon, we were shocked after listening about his sad demise."
"Last week I had visited the hospital in Chennai where Vilasrao was undergoing treatment and discussed with doctors about his recovery. We were hopeful about his liver transplantation surgery. But unfortunately all the efforts went in vain," the Chief Minister said.
"I knew him for many years. With his outlook and vision he reached to the higher positions in the party. Since beginning of his political career he worked hard and won the confidence of party leaders. He will be always remembered for his leadership quality and generosity," Chavan maintained.
His journey from the post of a Sarpanch to the Chief Minister was an inspirational success story for every politician. He had a vision for development of Maharashtra and dreamt of making Mumbai as a world-class city, he said.
Describing Deshmukh as a real mass leader, Home Minister RR Patil said the State has suffered an irreparable loss with the sudden demise of the Congress veteran.
Talking to reporters in Gadchiroli district, he said the former Chief Minister provided a stable leadership to Maharashtra during difficult times like 26/11 terrorist attack and July 2005 Mumbai floods.
Recalling his long association with Deshmukh, the NCP leader said he took criticism in his stride and won over political opponents also.