Maharashtra legislature mourns Gujral, Deshmukh, Thackeray deaths
The Maharashtra legislature on the first day of its winter session here Monday paid rich tributes to late prime minister I.K. Gujral, former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, besides other leaders and members who passed away.
Chief Minster Prithviraj Chavan, leader of the house, moved a resolution of condolence which was seconded by Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The houses also paid tributes to former assembly speakers Babasaheb Kuppekar and Shankarrao Jagtap, former ministers Prabhakar Kunte, Digvijay Khanvilkar and Shankarrao Kale and 16 other members who passed away in the past few months.
Paying rich tributes to the departed leaders, Chavan recalled his associations with Gujral, Deshmukh and Thackeray and termed their demise as an irreparable loss to the nation.
In his tribute, Khadse described the late Thackeray as a leader "who gave an identity to the Marathi people in the state to live with pride and dignity".
Shiv Sena's Subhash Desai said that "Thackeray was always a fighter" who struggled for everything in life.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader Bala Nandgaonkar, a former Shiv Sena man, demanded that Thackeray's portrait must be installed in the assembly hall like other national leaders.
Ministers Narayan Rane and Chhagan Bhujbal, both former Shiv Sainiks, also fondly reminisced about their long association with Thackeray and credited him for their achievements.