New Delhi, Nov. 17 (ANI): Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Saturday condoled the demise of Balasaheb Thackeray, and said the Shiv Sena chief was a brave leader who remained honest to his principles till his last breath.
"Despite being the leader of the opposition party, he always supported me when I was the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. He always encouraged me whenever I initiated a good work during my tenure," said Shinde.
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi also expressed grief on hearing of Thackeray's demise and said that 'he had a big role in Maharashtra politics'.
"We feel sad and we convey our heartfelt sorrow to the family and pray they can overcome the grief," said Alvi.
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said the Shiv Sena supremo's death is a big jolt to Maharashtra and the entire nation.
"With his demise, an era of Indian politics ended. The whole nation is grieving. He lived like a tiger and consolidated his position in politics. He knew how to swim against the tide. Leaders like him are born rarely. BJP pays its respect to the late leader," he said.
Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray, who was critically ill for the past few days, passed away at his residence 'Matoshree' in suburban Bandra earlier today. He was 86.
"He had suffered a cardiac arrest. We could not revive him despite our best efforts. He breathed his last at around 3:30 PM," Dr Jalil Parkar, who treated the Sena supremo, told reporters after emerging from Thackeray residence Saturday evening.
Thackeray had been suffering from respiratory problems and pancreatic disease.
He is survived by sons Jaidev and Uddhav, who is the Executive President of the party. (ANI)