Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan and Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy air-dashed to Puttaparthi following the demise of Sathya Sai Baba on Sunday morning.

Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu, who cancelled his electioneering in Kadapa district on Sunday, is also expected to reach Puttaparthi soon.

Former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Ashok Chavan and a host of other VIPs are also expected to arrive in Puttaparthi by Sunday evening.

A number of political leaders have expressed grief over the demise of Sai Baba.

"It is a sad day for the entire world. It is hard to describe his deeds in words," Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said in a statement.

"We have lost a great pious personality. His contribution to social causes was immeasurable," he added.

Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said Sai Baba was a great source of strength for his devotees.

"His passing away is a tremendous loss for everyone. Organisations set up by him did a lot for providing free education, hospitals and other charitable works in India and abroad," he said.

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, who has been an ardent devotee of the spiritual leader since the last 45-years, said Sathya Sai Baba's death was a "moment of grief" for him.

"He would continue to guide us and will always be a source of inspiration. His teachings will always be remembered. Baba worked selflessly for the mankind," he said.

Chavan, who had hosted Sai Baba during his tenure as Chief Minister at his official residence 'Varsha', said he always received advice and guidance from the latter, which helped him to carry on, whenever he faced ups and downs.

Chavan said he had last met the spiritual guru on November 23 last year. "He appeared weak. He held my hand," he added.

Condoling Sai Baba's death, State Public Works Development Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said the spiritual leader will always remain in everyone's heart through his preachings.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa today expressed grief over the death of Sathya Sai Baba.

Yeddyurappa, an ardent devotee of Sai Baba, described the spiritual leader as a "noble soul" who sacrificed his entire life for the good of human beings.

Sai Baba passed away on Sunday morning in Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh due to cardio-respiratory failure.

(Agencies)