The cabinet, meeting for first time since Deshmukh's demise in a Chennai hospital Tuesday, passed a resolution recalling his services to the state and centre.
Moving the resolution, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan described Kunte, a freedom fighter who took part in the 1942 Quit India Movement, as "a nationalist who put the nation before self" during his five decades of public life.
Kunte, 92, passed away in Mumbai Wednesday evening, while Deshmukh was cremated with full state honours at his native Babhalgaon village in Latur district, around 475 km from here.
The entire cabinet observed a two-minute silence in memory of the two departed leaders.
The state government has declared a three-day official mourning period in the memory of Deshmukh.
In a separate message, Nationalist Congress Party chief and union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar recalled his association with Kunte in Maharashtra politics.
"While in government, he always took decisions in public interest and served as a guide and mentor to younger ministers of my generation," Pawar said.