New Delhi: Pranab Mukherjee on Friday paid rich tributes to late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez describing him as a "highly popular and charismatic leader who endeavoured to advance the cause of the underprivileged".
"It is with sadness that I learned of the untimely demise of President Hugo Chavez. On behalf of the government and people of India, I convey our deepest condolences to the family of President Chavez and to the government and people of Venezuela.
"President Chavez was a highly popular and charismatic leader. He dealt with challenging national issues with courage and bore his difficult personal circumstances with great strength. He continuously endeavoured to advance the cause of the underprivileged. The longstanding ties of friendship and cooperation between the people of India and Venezuela were strengthened under his leadership," Mukherjee said.
"The government and people of India stand by the people of Venezuela in their hour of grief," he said.