Parliament was today adjourned for the day after paying rich tributes to Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who passed away on Tuesday.
"We deeply mourn the loss of our friend and I am sure the House would join me in conveying our condolences to the bereaved family,” Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said.
She hailed Deshmukh as an able administrator and parliamentarian.
A member of the Rajya Sabha, Deshmukh held the portfolios of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Science and Technology, Earth Sciences and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the Union Government.
In the Rajya Sabha, Chairman Hamid Ansari mentioned the passing away of Deshmukh, a sitting member of the House.
“In passing away of Deshmukh, the country has lost an able administrator and a distinguished parliamentarian. We deeply mourn the passing away of Deshmukh,” he said.
Ansari said in his nearly four-decade-long political career, Deskhmukh first served as sarpanch of his village in Latur district of Maharashtra between 1974 and 1979 before beginning his legislative career in the state assembly in 1980.
He was an MLA in Maharashtra Assembly between 1980 and 1995 and again from 1999 to 2009 and was minister in the state government for several years before serving as chief minister of the state for two terms — from October 1999 to January 2003 and November 2004 to December 2008.
As chief minister, Deskhmukh initiated a number of programmes for the improvement of urban infrastructure in Mumbai and attracting global investors, Ansari said.
Deshmukh represented the state of Maharashtra for two terms — from August 2009 to April 2012 and from April 2012 till he breathed his last in Chennai at the age of 67.
In both the Houses, members stood in silence for a while before the proceedings were adjourned till tomorrow as a mark of respect to the departed leader.