New Delhi: Calling it a nation's "loss of a visionary", BJP Tuesday paid glowing tributes to former president A P J Abdul Kalam with party chief Amit Shah describing him as the "best exemplar" of the idea of India.
Shah said Kalam was a "rare combination" of science, education and morality and his personality and achievements will inspire the coming generations.
"He served Mother India literally until the last breath of his life. He was truly a 'karma yogi' par excellence. I always regarded Dr Kalam as the best exemplar of the idea of India, one who embodied the best of all the cultural and spiritual traditions that signify India's unity in immense diversity.
"Dr Kalam's personality uniquely harmonised science and spirituality. As the President of India, he also harmonised the agendas of security and development.
Shah said Kalam dreamt of a developed, prosperous and strong India and dedicated his life to realising this dream.
"Nation will always be in debt for his contributions. His death has caused an irreparable loss to the nation," Shah said, recalling that Kalam played a key role in making India a space and nuclear power.
BJP patriarch L K Advani said the void left by his absence cannot be filled.
"His belief that India would become a developed nation by 2020 inspired millions of Indians. He was a lifelong learner and a lifelong teacher. He was also unparalleled in his ability to motivate young minds," Advani said.
"His demise has left a void in our national life, which cannot be filled. Nevertheless, he will be affectionately remembered by generations to come as an ideal Indian," the veteran leader said.
In his condolence message, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari described the Bharat Ratna as a great scientist, a true nationalist and a wonderful human being.
"In his death the nation has lost a visionary and the scientific community a missile expert," he said.
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said Kalam was a "self-made man", who inspired generations of scientists and the youth of our country.
"As the President during 2002-07, Dr Kalam proved to be a people's President. He extensively travelled across the country with the mission of inspiring the students and the youth. As President, he discharged his constitutional responsibilities to perfection and to the admiration of all," he said.
Kalam was a true nationalist and the pride of the nation, Naidu said in his tribute. "He was a great son of India."
He said the government was looking to either shift him to Delhi or to dispatch a team of doctors to Shillong, where he had suddenly collapsed at an event yesterday, but "he was snatched away from our midst so suddenly that there was no time".