Mumbai: Senior Congress leaders in Maharashtra on Thursday met in Mumbai to remember their departed colleague, Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, whom the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan described as "star campaigner".
"We have lost a star campaigner. Vilasrao's demise is not only a loss for the Congress party, but for the country as well," Chavan said at the condolence meeting on Thursday evening.
Deshmukh passed away at a Chennai hospital on Tuesday. "No one thought that he would leave us following a brief illness. There was talk about his illness for the last six months, but when asked, he would laugh it off," Chavan said.
He had just begun his innings at the Centre, and was slated to handle more responsibilities, Chavan said. "The party had many more expectations from him."
Congress's Maharashtra in-charge, Mohan Prakash, said that Deshmukh was one of the most prominent Congress leaders from the state. "We are feeling the void caused by his death.
Former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, senior state Minister Narayan Rane, and MPCC president Manikrao Thakre were among those who lauded Deshmukh's role in the development of the party and the state.