Bengaluru: Ananth Kumar, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister, died at a private hospital in Bengaluru in the early hours of Monday after battling lung cancer for several months. He was 59.
The senior BJP leader was serving as Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers since May 2014 and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs since July 2016 in the Narendra Modi government. He represented Bengaluru South Constituency in Lok Sabha.
Ananth Kumar rose through the ranks in the BJP, having joined the party after earning a reputation as an adroit political activist with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the students’ wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Born in a middle-class Brahmin family in Bengaluru on 22 July 1959, Ananth Kumar joined the BJP in 1987. He was a six-time parliamentarian. Ananth Kumar’s first election was 1996 parliamentary polls which he won defeating VG Rao of the Congress from South Bangalore Lok Sabha seat. He never lost this seat thereafter.
The last rites of Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar would be performed on Tuesday afternoon, Karnataka BJP said.
The mortal remains of Kumar would be placed at his residence in Basavanagudifor the entire day today, state BJP General Secretary N Ravikumar said in a statement.
He said, by 8 AM on Tuesday, it would be taken to Jagannath Bhavan, BJP state office at Malleshwaram, where arrangements would be made for party workers and his followers to pay their last respects.
Kumar’s body would then be taken to National College Ground in the city for the public to pay their respects, and the last rites would be performed at 1 PM at Chjamarajapete crematorium, the statement added.
Kumar died at a private hospital here in the early hours of Monday after battling lung cancer for several months.
Tributes poured in for Ananth Kumar, the six-time MP with Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembering him as an “asset to the BJP organisation”.
“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,” 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
The prime minister also spoke to Ananth Kumar’s wife and expressed his condolences to the family.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and state Congress president Ashok Chavan paid tributes to Union minister Ananth Kumar, who died in Bengaluru in the early hours of Monday.
Fadnavis said he was “shocked and deeply pained” by Kumar’s “untimely” demise.
“His contribution towards society, service to the people will be remembered forever. My deepest condolences to his family, friends, followers, karyakarta,” the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said in a tweet.
Shocked and deeply pained by the sudden and untimely demise of our leader Union Minister #AnanthKumar ji.
His contribution towards society, service to the people will be remembered forever.
My deepest condolences to his family, friends, followers, karyakarta.
— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) November 12, 2018
Senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan also took to the micro-blogging site to express grief over Kumar’s death.
“Deeply saddened by the passing of Union Minister, Shri Ananth Kumarji. My condolences to his family & friends.
May his soul rest in peace,” the former chief minister of Maharashtra tweeted.
He is survived by the wife and two daughters.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her deep grief over the passing away of Union minister Ananth Kumar.
“Saddened at the passing away of Ananth Kumarji, six-time MP and Union Cabinet minister. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and supporters,” Banerjee wrote in her Twitter handle this morning.
Kumar, 59, had come back to Bengaluru only recently after undergoing treatment in the US and Britain.