Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned for the day as a mark of respect to Mr. Deshmukh.

President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh led the nation in condoling the death of Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Tuesday.

Mr. Mukerjee paid rich tributes to Mr. Deshmukh describing him as a “towering” leader who was always in touch with the grassroots of society“.

“I am deeply saddened to learn about the passing away of your husband, Vilasrao Deshmukh. Deshmukh was an esteemed colleague and a dear friend. He was a veteran politician and an able administrator who served the nation in different spheres. He was always concerned about the welfare and upliftment of the poor and downtrodden,” Mr. Mukherjee said in a condolence message to Mr. Deshmukh’s wife.

Mr. Mukherjee described Mr. Deshmukh as “a towering leader of Maharashtra” and said his “immense contribution to the welfare of the state as Chief Minister will always be remembered“.

“In his passing away, the nation has lost a personality who was always in touch with the grassroots of society,” the President said.

Dr. Singh in his message described Mr. Deshmukh as a trusted colleague and an able administrator.

“Mr. Deshmukh was a trusted colleague and an able administrator who worked at panchayat, state and central levels with admirable dedication,” Dr. Singh said.

Parliament adjourns as mark of respect

Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned for the day as a mark of respect to Mr. Deshmukh.

His death was announced by a choked Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde in the Lok Sabha.

“I have to inform with great grief that my colleague Vilasrao Deshmukh has passed away,” Mr. Shinde said as the Lok Sabha was discussing the issue of increasing Naxal and Maoist activities.

He wanted the Lok Sabha to be adjourned as a mark of respect to the departed leader.

Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani too expressed grief following which the chair adjourned the Lok Sabha for the day.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal informed the Rajya Sabha about the death of Mr. Deshmukh following which the House was adjourned.

“Vilasrao Deshmukh is no more... He has just passed away,” Mr. Bansal told the Upper House.

More In: National | News