Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has expressed shock over the demise of Union Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde saying the late BJP leader had created a space for himself in the socio-political field through hard work and years of struggle. "I am shocked over the passing away of Gopinath Munde. He was humble and polite and a grassroot leader. He had the ability to make friends cutting across party lines and maintained the friendship," Chavan told reporters here.
Munde, 64, the OBC face of BJP in Maharashtra died apparently of shock and cardiac arrest suffered during a road accident early this morning in New Delhi. After serving as legislator, minister, deputy chief minister and deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, he had gotten the opportunity to serve as a Union minister. "He told me that he will utilise his post for benefit of Maharashtra," he said adding that Munde had a big role to play in the success of the Sena-BJP alliance in Maharashtra in the Lok Sabha polls.
State PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said Munde was like a brother to him. "After I lost the Nashik Lok Sabha seat, he called me and said not to lose hope," Bhujbal recalled. NCP state president Bhaskar Jadhav said fate had cruelly cut down Munde's journey.
State Congress chief Manikrao Thakare said Munde's death was shocking. "He had a pleasant personality. From an ordinary worker he rose to become a union minister through struggle and hard work," Thakare added.