"It is hard to believe (that Deshmukh is no more)...A joivial man has left us. He was not that old," Thackeray said in a statement.
Deshmukh left his own imprint on the politics, the Sena patriarch said.
Thackeray also recalled Deshmukh's cheerful personality, especially his repartee, and his verbal duels with BJP leader Gopinath Munde, and also his famed friendship with cabinet colleague Sushilkumar Shinde.
Mumbai: Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray condoled the death of Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh here this evening, describing him as a "jovial" person.
First Published: Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 23:01