Mumbai:- Maharashtra grieved the death of Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika and other army officers in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday afternoon.
Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, leaders of ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi, opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s Devendra Fadnavis and Pravin Darekar and others mourned the shocking tragedy.
“His untimely demise is an irreparable loss to the nation. The whole country is shocked by the tragedy. I pay my respects to Gen. Bipin Rawat, his wife and the other officers,” Governor Koshyari said.
A shaken Thackeray said it was difficult for him to accept that “Gen. Rawat is no more with us”.
“I am very sad to hear about this unfortunate accident. It seemed like they would survive, but later the bad news came. Gen. Rawat led the country bravely on many fronts along with his colleagues. My homage to him, his wife and all the other army officers who died in the tragedy,” he said.
The CM recalled how Rawat had the honour of becoming the first CDS and his rich experience had boosted the morale of the three wings of the armed forces.
Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar said he was both “shocked and saddened to learn about the demise of CDS Rawat”.
“He had a highly decorated career and his services in the defence field over the past four decades will always be remembered,” said Pawar, a former Defence Minister.
State Congress President Nana Patole termed the incident as “extremely saddening” and offered his heartfelt condolences to CDS Rawat and all the others who perished in the tragedy.
NCP state President and Minister Jayant Patil said CDS Gen Rawat had 43 years of gallant and distinguished service and his “dedication to the nation knew no limits”.
“India mourns the death of her brave son. We will be forever indebted towards his service to the motherland till his very last breath,” he said.
Former Chief Minister Fadnavis termed the incident as “very tragic, terrible and extremely painful”.
“We lost our first CDS Rawatji in an unfortunate accident in Tamil Nadu. Nation mourns this huge and irreparable loss,” he said.
Leader of Opposition in Council Darekar said he was “deeply shocked at the demise of CDS Rawat” and offered his deepest condolences to all his family members and others.
Samajwadi Party state President Abu Asim Azmi, NCP national spokesperson and Minister Nawab Malik, state Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe-Patil also grieved the loss of CDS Gen Rawat and the others who fell victims to the chopper tragedy.