Ananth Kumar, Union Minister and BJP Leader, Dies of Cancer at 59; Karnataka Declares 3-Day Mourning, Holiday
Ananth Kumar was suffering from cancer and had come back from the US in October. He is survived by wife Tejaswini and two daughters.
Bengaluru: Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister and senior BJP leader Ananth Kumar died at a private hospital in the early hours of Monday, party spokesman said.
He was suffering from cancer and had come back from the US in October after treatment at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, New York.
Kumar, 59, is survived by wife and two daughters. He breathed his last around 4 am, party spokesman Prakash told PTI. Kumar's wife Tejaswini and his two daughters were with him when he passed away, he said.
Kumar was a BJP MP from South Bengaluru constituency. BJP sources said the body of Kumar would be kept at the National College Ground, which falls in his constituency, for public homage. Details of funeral arrangements were being worked out, the sources said.
Kumar passed away from complications following cancer and infections, his party office said in a statement. He had been on the ventilator in the Intensive Care Unit for the last few days, it said.
The Karnataka government has declared three-day mourning and one-day holiday, while the national flag will be flown at half-mast.
Three-day mourning and a holiday declared today, to mark the sad demise of Uni.Minister Anantha Kumar.His last rites will be performed with all Government honour, the CM said.The CM will reach National College grounds from Mysuru today to pay his last respects to #AnanthaKumar— CM of Karnataka (@CMofKarnataka) November 12, 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled Kumar's demise, remembering him as a "remarkable leader".
"Extremely saddened by the passing away of my valued colleague and friend, Shri Ananth Kumar Ji. He was a remarkable leader, who entered public life at a young age and went on to serve society with utmost diligence and compassion. He will always be remembered for his good work," he tweeted.
Extremely saddened by the passing away of my valued colleague and friend, Shri Ananth Kumar Ji. He was a remarkable leader, who entered public life at a young age and went on to serve society with utmost diligence and compassion. He will always be remembered for his good work.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 12, 2018
Ananth Kumar Ji was an able administrator, who handled many ministerial portfolios and was a great asset to the BJP organisation. He worked hard to strengthen the Party in Karnataka, particularly in Bengaluru and surrounding areas. He was always accessible to his constituents.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 12, 2018
I spoke to his wife, Dr. Tejaswini Ji and expressed condolences on the passing away of Shri Ananth Kumar Ji. My thoughts are with his entire family, friends and supporters in this hour of grief and sadness. Om Shanti.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 12, 2018
BJP chief Amit Shah said Kumar's passing has "left a void in the BJP"
I am grief stricken to learn about the untimely demise of our senior leader and union minister Shri Ananth Kumar ji. He served the nation and organisation with unparalleled zeal and dedication. Ananth ji worked tirelessly to strengthen the BJP in the state of Karnataka.— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) November 12, 2018
Ananth ji was a remarkable administrator who served various ministerial portfolios. His passing away has left a void in the BJP and Indian polity that can not be filled soon. May God give his family & supporters strength to bear this tragic loss. My deepest condolences. Om Shanti— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) November 12, 2018
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also expressed deep sorrow over Kumar's death.
"Deep sense of grief on hearing that Shri @AnanthKumar_BJP is no more with us. Served @BJP4India @BJP4Karnataka all along. Bengaluru was in his head and heart, always. May God give his family the strength to bear with this loss," she tweeted.
Deep sense of grief on hearing that Shri @AnanthKumar_BJP is no more with us. Served @BJP4India @BJP4Karnataka all along. Bengaluru was in his head and heart, always. May God give his family the strength to bear with this loss.— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) November 12, 2018
Union minister Sadananda Gowda also expressed condolence on Twitter and changed his display picture to black.
Shocked , it’s unbelievable , My friend , Brother Ananthkumar is no more . pic.twitter.com/zMOYEn7gXc— Sadananda Gowda (@DVSBJP) November 12, 2018
Leaders from the Congress and other opposition parties also paid their last respects to the departed leader.
I’m sorry to hear about the passing of Union Minister, Shri Ananth Kumar ji, in Bengaluru, earlier this morning. My condolences to his family & friends. May his soul rest in peace. Om Shanti.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) November 12, 2018
Deeply pained to hear about the untimely death of Uni.Minister and a dear friend #Ananthakumar.A value-based politician, a pro people leader, who made a significant contribution to the country as an MP &Uni.Minister. I have lost a great friend.May his soul rest in peace pic.twitter.com/FBRicd64M2— CM of Karnataka (@CMofKarnataka) November 12, 2018
ಕೇಂದ್ರ ಸಚಿವ ಅನಂತ್ಕುಮಾರ್ ಸಾವಿನ ಸುದ್ದಿ ಕೇಳಿ ಆಘಾತಗೊಂಡಿದ್ದೇನೆ. ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಮತ್ತು ದೆಹಲಿ ನಡುವಿನ ಕೊಂಡಿಯೊಂದು ಕಳಚಿಬಿದ್ದಿದೆ. ರಾಜಕೀಯವಾಗಿ ಇನ್ನಷ್ಟು ಎತ್ತರಕ್ಕೆ ಬೆಳೆಯಲು ಅವಕಾಶ ಮತ್ತು ವಯಸ್ಸಿತ್ತು. ಅವರ ಕುಟುಂಬ ವರ್ಗದ @Tejaswini_ACF ದು:ಖದಲ್ಲಿ ನಾನೂ ಭಾಗಿಯಾಗಿದ್ದೇನೆ. pic.twitter.com/TcwJEbIk7a— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) November 12, 2018
Absolutely shocked & deeply pained by demise of Shri Ananth Kumar. A seasoned parliamentarian who served our nation in several capacities. My condolences to his family.ಭಗವಂತನು ಅವರ ಆತ್ಮಕ್ಕೆ ಚಿರಶಾಂತಿ ನೀಡಲಿ. ಕುಟುಂಬ ವರ್ಗ ಹಾಗೂ ಅಪಾರ ಅಭಿಮಾನಿಗಳಿಗೆ ಅವರ ಅಗಲಿಕೆಯ ದುಃಖ ಸಹಿಸುವ ಶಕ್ತಿ ನೀಡಲಿ. pic.twitter.com/ajqGwADJJe— DK Shivakumar (@DKShivakumar) November 12, 2018
A six-time member of Parliament, Kumar had climbed the political ladder steadily from being an RSS worker to be the Union minister in his thirties.
Kumar had been in the inner circle of the central leadership of the BJP — be it during the heydays of Atal Bihari Vajpayee or LK Advani and now Narendra Modi.
He joined the BJP in 1987 and never looked back, as he held posts of state secretary, state president of the Yuva Morcha, general secretary and national secretary.
Along with state BJP chief Yeddyurappa, Kumar is among a few party leaders who can be credited for the growth of BJP in Karnataka, as they built the party and bringing it to power in 2008, making it the first saffron party government in the south.
Kumar first got elected to Lok Sabha in 1996 from Bangalore South, the constituency, which remained his bastion till his passing away.
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