Panaji, Feb 14 (PTI) Leaders cutting across party lines have condoled the death of noted writer and Goa Assembly’s former deputy speaker Vishnu Wagh and lauded his contributions in literary and political fields.

The 53-year-old former BJP MLA died on February 8 in South Africa while he was on a tour of Cape Town, his wife had said on Wednesday.

He had been ailing since August 2016 after he suffered a heart stroke.

State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane in his condolence message said Wagh’s work and love for Goa will always be remembered.

“With a heavy heart, we pray for late Vishnu Surya Wagh, former deputy speaker of Goa Assembly and eminent poet who is no more with us. His work and love towards Goa will always be remembered. We pray for his eternal soul to rest in peace,” Rane said.

BJP’s Lok Sabha member from South Goa seat Narendra Sawaikar said Wagh was his friend and a great human being.

“Deeply saddened by the news of demise of my friend ex-deputy speaker, poet, lyricist, orator, artist, author, editor and a great human being #VishnuWagh. May his soul attain sadgati. Om Shanti,” Sawaikar said in a tweet.

Goa Congress chief Girish Chodankar said Wagh was his most loving friend and guide.

“Disheartening to learn sad demise of multifaced personality #VishnuWagh. Goa lost intelligent and brave son, I lost a most loving friend and guide. We worked together in @IYCGoa under his leadership, I join his bereaved family in the time of distress,” Chodankar said in a tweet.

Former Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat said Wagh was an outstanding personality in the field of art and culture.

“Deeply pained by the news of passing away of my friend, poet, orator, actor writer, ex-MLA and ex-Deputy Speaker Vishnu Surya Wagh. Goa has lost one of the outstanding personality in the field of art and culture. May his soul rest in peace. My condolences to his family,” the Congress leader tweeted.

Wagh was a member of the state Assembly from St Andre constituency in North Goa district between 2012 and 2017. He was also chairman of the state-run Goa Kala Academy.

He wrote over 20 plays in Marathi, three musical dramas, 18 Konkani plays, 16 one-act plays and six volumes of poetry.

He also directed more than 50 plays in Konkani and Marathi languages.

Some of his critically-acclaimed plays include “Tuka Abhang Abhang”, “Suvari”, “Teen Poishancho Tiatro”, “Dharmashree” and “Pedru Poddlo Baient”.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.