Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue MG Vaidya died on Saturday after a brief illness in Nagpur, his son said. He was 97.

“MG Vaidya, my father breathed his last today at 3.35 pm at Nagpur after completing 97 years of active, meaningful and inspiring life,” Manmohan Vaidya tweeted.

Vishnu Vaidya, his grandson, told PTI that his health condition deteriorated suddenly on Friday. “He had contracted coronavirus but recovered from the infection,” he added.

Vaidya was a veteran journalist, a Sanskrit scholar and the first official spokesperson of the organisation. The RSS is the ideological mentor of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered condolences to MG Vaidya’s family. “Shri MG Vaidya ji was a distinguished writer and journalist,” the prime minister tweeted. “He contributed extensively to the RSS for decades. He also worked to strengthen the BJP. Saddened by his demise.”

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari also mourned Vaidya’s death. “It is sad that a pious and sage-like personality has passed away,” he tweeted. “May God grant peace to the departed soul.”