President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi were among a host of leaders who today condoled the death of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu in a chopper crash on Saturday.

The Prime Minister and the Congress chief will go to Itanagar tomorrow to pay their last respects to the Arunachal leader, AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said after a meeting of the Congress Working Committee.

A meeting of the Union Cabinet presided by the Prime Minister also adopted a separate resolution condoling Khandu’s untimely death.

Lauding the “visionary leadership” of Khandu, the meeting of the cabinet said it places on record its deep sense of grief and loss over the death of Khandu and extended its sincere condolences to his family and people of the State.

“The fact that several sectors such as hydro-power, tourism, mineral development, agriculture, food processing and agro-based industries in the State are generating income and employment for a large segment of population, is a glowing tribute to his visionary leadership,” it said.

The CWC, which met under the Chairmanship of the Congress president, was attended by the Prime Minister, AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi and several union ministers. The CWC said Khandu’s death was a loss which will be felt for a long time.

“Khandu was born in an ordinary family belonging to Monpa tribal community in Arunachal Pradesh and he reached to the top political post of the State through his work and dedication. This is an example in itself,” it said.

During the meeting, Home Minister P. Chidambaram narrated the sequence of events leading to Khandu’s death in the chopper crash.

In a condolence message, the President said that Khandu was a politician, who actively spent his life in public affairs and who deeply understood the pulse of the people.

Vice President Hamid Ansari said Khandu, a charismatic leader, believed that the real well-being of a society cannot be measured by material development alone but by the human development of its people.

He has shown exemplary devotion and dedication to the all—round development of the State and its people, he said.

The Prime Minister said that the veteran politician worked tirelessly to promote the interest of the State.

He recalled that Khandu was elected un-opposed to the first Legislative Assembly of the Arunachal Pradesh in 1990 and continuously served his constituency since then.

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