Union Minister Ananth Kumar passes away at 59

Bengaluru: Union Minister and senior BJD leader HN Ananth Kumar passed away in the wee hours of Monday in Bengaluru. He was 59.

“Minister Ananth Kumar passed away at 3 a.m. at a private hospital where he was undergoing treatment for cancer,” a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Bengaluru R. Ashoka told reporters here.

He had been battling pancreatic cancer for months and died at a hospital in Bengaluru. Sources said the mortal remains of Ananth Kumar will be kept at National College, Bengaluru, for last tributes.

Political leaders cutting across party lines expressed profound grief over the sad demise of Kumar who was a BJP MP from south Bengaluru constituency.

“Sad to hear of passing of Union Minister & veteran parliamentarian Shri H.N. Ananth Kumar. This is a tragic loss to public life in our country & particularly for the people of Karnataka. My condolences to his family, colleagues and countless associates,” said President Ram Nath Kovind.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed sadness and tweeted this morning, “Extremely saddened by the passing away of my valued colleague & friend, Shri Ananth Kumar Ji. He was a remarkable leader, who entered public life at young age & went on to serve society with utmost diligence & compassion. He will always be remembered for his good work.”

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh stated, “Absolutely shocked & pained by the demise of very senior colleague & a friend Shri Anant Kumar ji. He was a seasoned parliamentarian who served the nation in several capacities. His passion & devotion for the welfare of people was commendable. My condolences to his family.”

“Deep sense of grief on hearing that Shri Ananth Kumar is no more with us. Served BJP all along. Bengaluru was in his head and heart, always. May God give his family the strength to bear with this loss,” said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

“I have lost a great friend in his (Ananth Kumar) death. He was a value based politician, who made a significant contribution to the country as MP & Union Minister. May his soul rest in peace & may God give strength to his family & his followers to endure this loss,” said Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy.

Former MP Baijayant Panda expressed condolence over the demise of Ananth Kumar and stated, “Saddened by the passing of Shri Ananth Kumar. He’d chaired a parliamentary committee on which i served, & distinguished himself for being to accommodate all members of various political persuasions, yet get a remarkable amount of work done! Om Shanti, may his soul rest in peace.”

Kumar was elected to Lok Sabha for the first time in 1996 from Bangalore South constituency.

He was the Minister for Civil Aviation in the Union Cabinet headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1998.

(With inputs from ANI)