Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and leaders cutting across political spectrum paid tributes to former prime minister Chandra Shekhar who died this morning after a prolonged illness.
Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, CPI-M leaders Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury, senior Cabinet Ministers Shivraj Patil and Lalu Prasad Yadav were among the first to reach Chandra Shekhar's 3 South Avenue residence to pay their tributes.
Lalu remembered Chandra Sekhar as a leader of the masses and a plain politician who had friends across the political spectrum.
"We are shocked to hear the news of his demise. He was great freedom fighter and a brave and a popular leader," Lalu said after paying tributes to the socialist leader.
Remembering his association with Chandra Shekhar during the days of Emergency, Yechury said his death was a big loss to Indian politics.
"He was at the forefront of Indian politics for many decades," Yechury said, adding the late leader played a major role in the era of coalition politics.
JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav said with Chandra Shekhar's death the country has lost a leader who knew the pulse of the masses and was a strong pillar of Indian democracy.