Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda on Thursday mourned the death of A B Vajpayee, saying with his passing a vacuum has been created in polity, as several state leaders joined him in expressing grief.
In his condolence message, Gowda said with the death of Vajpayee, the country lost a statesman and politician who believed in the country's diverse culture.
"He was a true parliamentarian. With his death, a vacuum has been created in polity and end of an era of politics in this country. He was a great orator who refused to attack his opponents personally. He did not allow the House to be disturbed during my tenure as the prime minister for the 11 months," Gowda said.
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy described Vajpayee as being among a "rare breed" of politicians who lived as per the values they believed in.
"His death has created a vacuum in the political circle of the country," he said.
Quoting a line from Vajpayee's poem that said "Will never accept defeat, will never be afraid of new challenges", Kumaraswamy said it was a mirror to his personality.
He was a great orator and parliamentarian, he said.
Congress' Karnataka president Dinesh Gundu Rao took to Twitter to condole the death.
"Atal Bihari Vajpayee, one of the most well-respected, loved and broad hearted political statesman India has seen. A towering personality and a great orator. I express my deepest condolences on his passing away. We are all going to miss him," he tweeted.
#AtalBihariVajpayee, one of the most well respected, loved and broad hearted political statesman #India has seen. A towering personality and a great orator. I express my deepest condolences on his passing away.— Dinesh Gundu Rao (@dineshgrao) August 16, 2018
We are all going to miss him.
BJP state president and former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa said it was a great loss to the country, especially BJP, for which he was a leading and guiding spirit.
"Country has lost a great political thinker and a statesman in the death of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee," Yeddyurappa said in his message.
The former chief minister recalled that Vajpayee's organisational and political acumen was put to test during his regime when he led the NDA comprising more than 25 parties with political agenda of their own.
"Still the words of Vajpayee at Mumbai plenary session of BJP in 1990 when BJP got only two seats in the Lok Sabha, 'Andhera Chatega, Suraj Niklega, Kamal Khilega' (Darkness goes, sun rises and lotus blooms) keeps reminding me of his vision and optimism in politics.
This vision and optimism of Vajpayee made the workers and leaders work harder and Narendra Modi to win the elections 2014 by a thumping majority," Yeddyurappa said.
Others who expressed grief over the death were deputy chief minister Parameshwara, Congress vice president Eshwar Khandre and BJP Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar.