New Delhi: Leaders across the political spectrum paid rich tributes to Congress veteran S Jaipal Reddy, who died in the early hours of Sunday at the age of 77, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembering him as an effective administrator and his predecessor Manmohan Singh hailing him as a treasure of wisdom and knowledge.
Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi said Reddy was an erudite and humane leader who enriched Parliament and different governments he served.
BJP president Amit Shah expressed sadness at Reddy' demise while Congress leader Rahul Gandhi called him an outstanding parliamentarian and a great son of Telangana who dedicated his entire life towards public service.
In a tweet, Modi said, "Shri Jaipal Reddy had years of experience in public life. He was respected as an articulate speaker and effective administrator. Saddened by his demise."
Reddy was recently diagnosed with pneumonia and was admitted to a Hyderabad hospital where he died at 1.28 am.
Reddy was a member of Lok Sabha for five terms, member of Rajya Sabha for two terms and a four-term MLA. He held key portfolios in various governments
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, in whose Cabinet Reddy served between 2004-14, called him a friend and expressed deep sadness at his untimely demise.
"He was a treasure of wisdom and knowledge. My condolences to the bereaved family," Singh said in a statement.
Sonia Gandhi said Reddy was respected across political parties and adored by the media for his accessibility and forthright responses. "He always had the interest of people close to his heart," she said.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said Reddy consistently worked to uphold and strengthen the secular foundations of India.
"An honest and upright politician, he will be known for his erudition and scholarship," he said, adding that Reddy's death is a big loss to the secular democratic forces in the country.
Former finance minister P Chidambaram said behind every word that he spoke or wrote there was deep scholarship and a passion that was remarkable.
"He effortlessly combined old world values and the new world's technologies," Chidambaram said.
Recalling his association with Reddy, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said his death has caused an irreparable loss to the public life.
Opposition leader Sharad Yadav said he was an able administrator and great parliamentarian whose speeches in Parliament will be remembered.
Reddy always thought of the welfare of the downtrodden people and was honest to the core, Yadav said.
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress president Mamata Banerjee said Reddy's role as an experienced parliamentarian, a Union minister and a good communicator will be remembered by many.