New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday condoled the demise of former Gujarat chief minister Madhavsinh Solanki and said he was a formidable leader who played a key role in the state's politics for decades.

Solanki, a veteran Congress leader who had also been External Affairs Minister, died in Gandhinagar early Saturday morning. He was 93.

"Shri Madhavsinh Solanki Ji was a formidable leader, playing a key role in Gujarat politics for decades. He will be remembered for his rich service to society," Modi said in a tweet.

"Saddened by his demise. Spoke to his son, Bharat Solanki Ji and expressed condolences. Om Shanti," he said.

Modi also said that beyond politics, Madhavsinh Solanki enjoyed reading and was passionate about culture.

"Whenever I would meet him or speak to him, we would discuss books and he would tell me about a new book he recently read. I will always cherish the interactions we had," the prime minister said.

Madhavsinh Solanki had served as External Affairs Minister from June 1991 to March 1992.

Solanki was also a two-term MP of Rajya Sabha from Gujarat.

He had been the longest serving chief minister of the state before Narendra Modi became CM.

His son Bharatsinh Solanki is also a former Union minister.

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