Jaipur: Rajasthan BJP chief Madan Lal Saini passed away at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, on Monday.

PM Narendra Modi tweeted, “The passing away of Shri Madanlal Saini Ji is a major loss for the BJP family. He contributed to strengthening the Party in Rajasthan. He was widely respected for his congenial nature and community service efforts. My thoughts are with his family and supporters. Om Shanti.”

Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP National Working President JP Nadda, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and other party leaders paid tribute to Saini. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot tweeted, “Shocked and saddened to hear about the passing away of Madan Lal Saini ji, President of BJP Rajasthan. My thoughts and prayers are with his family members. May God give them strength to bear this loss. May his soul rest in peace.”

Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat told ANI, “After embalming, the body will be taken to Jaipur at night. It will be kept at BJP office there from 7.30-10 AM for people to pay their last respects. Then it will be taken to Sikar. The last rites will be performed at 3 PM there.”

Seventy-five-year-old Rajya Sabha MP Saini had also been an MLA from Udaipurwati. Saini started his career in politics in 1972. He lost the Lok Sabha election from Jhunjhunu in 1991 and 1998 and the Assembly election from Udaipurwati in 2008. He had held various posts in the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, Bharatiya Kisan Morcha and the BJP’s disciplinary committee.

He was as the Rajasthan unit president only last year, ending the confusion that has prevailed for over two months.

The state unit had been headless since Ashok Parnami, considered close to Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, resigned on April 18 after the BJP’s defeat in the by-elections to one Assembly and two Lok Sabha constituencies in March last year.

Senior BJP leaders, including Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria, party in-charge in Rajasthan Avinash Rai Khanna and State party vice-president Rajendra Gehlot, welcomed Mr. Saini’s appointment.