Senior Congress leader and four-time Gujarat Chief Minister Madhavsinh Solanki died in Gandhinagar on Saturday morning, PTI reported. He was 93 years old.
Solanki was the longest-serving chief minister of Gujarat before Modi. He also served as the external affairs minister in former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao’s Cabinet. Solanki is also credited with forming a social coalition of Kshatriya, Harijan, Adivasi and Muslim communities in Gujarat, called KHAM, in the 1980s.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leaders paid tributes. “Shri Madhavsinh Solanki Ji was a formidable leader, playing a key role in Gujarat politics for decades,” Modi tweeted. “He will be remembered for his rich service to society. Saddened by his demise. Spoke to his son, Bharat Solanki Ji and expressed condolences. Om Shanti.”
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also expressed grief over Solanki’s death. “He will be remembered for his contribution in strengthening the Congress ideology and promoting social justice,” Gandhi tweeted. “Heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”
Gujarat Congress President Amit Chavda said Solanki made his space in the hearts of the people with his work and nature. “The news of the death of former Gujarat chief minister, the country’s former foreign minister and veteran Congress leader Madhavsinh Solanki is saddening,” he said.