Describing former RSS chief K S Sudarshan as a "great thinker" and "visionary", BJP national President Nitin Gadkari today said his death was a big blow to the Parivar.
"He was a staunch nationalist who dedicated his entire life in the service of the nation and made remarkable contribution in promoting and expanding the RSS network," Gadkari told reporters here today.
The 81-year-old 'Pracharak' after serving the RSS in various capacities in different parts of the country became its 'Sarsanghchalak' in 2000 and held the post till 2009.
He was a strong votary of Swadeshi, bio-fuel and alternative source of energy, Gadkari noted, adding he had a vision for the progress of the country and emancipation of the down-trodden without emulating western economic models.
Gadkari said his death has left a void in the top echelons of the RSS which will be difficult to fill. "His departure marks the end of an era in the Sangh Parivar."
Senior BJP leader L K Advani, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj along with Arun Jaitley and Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states are likely to attend the funeral here tomorrow, Gadkari said.
The BJP President will be leaving for Delhi later in the day to attend the NDA meeting and return tonight from the capital.
Sudarshan's body will be kept for last tributes at Reshambagh here before the last rites tomorrow.