Bal Thackeray dies: Political class condoles his passing
President Pranab Mukherjee said the nation has lost a veteran leader who worked to help the common man and whose contributions in the field of media added a different perspective to the political discourse.
The death was also condoled by Vice President Hamid Ansari, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, BJP leaders L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley.
Prime Minister Singh, who called up Thackeray's son Uddhav, appealed to the people to maintain calm and sobriety.
Singh said the interests of Maharashtra were "particulary important" for Thackeray and "he always strived to inculcate a sense of pride in its people."
"He founded Shiv Sena and built the party into a formidable force in the state politics with his strong leadership. The passing away of Balasaheb will be deeply felt by his family and his followers," he said.
The Prime Minister described Thackeray as a "consummate communicator, whose stature in the politics of Maharashtra was unique."
Advani said Thackeray's death has left a "gaping void" in the country's politics which "cannot be filled".
"It is rare that I have seen in these 65 years of independent India a political leader who has left such a deep and abiding imprint on the country's events as Balasaheb Thackeray. Uncompromising in his patriotism, he possessed remarkable qualities of leadership and abundance of attributes of head and heart," Advani said.