Union Minister Ananth Kumar dies at 59, condolences followLast updated on Nov 12, 2018, 08:38 am
In a tragic incident, senior BJP leader and cabinet minister HN Ananth Kumar died on Monday at 2 in the morning.
He was suffering from cancer and was undergoing treatment at Shankara Hospital in Bengaluru.
His wife, Tejaswini, and two daughters were present with him during the last hours.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind expressed condolences.
Born to a middle class family, Kumar had political ambitions
Kumar was born on July 22, 1959, to a middle-class family of Karnataka. He graduated from KS Arts College in Hubbali, and later took a law degree from JSS Law College in Mysore.
During the Indira Gandhi declared Emergency, Kumar, who was a part of ABVP, had a loud noise.
From Bengaluru South, he was elected as an MP at 37.
He served in Vajpayee's cabinet
At just 36, Kumar became the national secretary of BJP and he never looked back.
He was one of the few leaders of today to have served in the cabinet of late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
In the current cabinet, Kumar was given the role of parliamentary affairs and played a key role in winning the no-confidence motion for the BJP.
Closer to Advani, Kumar was respected by all
Though he had little support from the community, Kumar propelled himself from state to national politics.
In terms of popularity, Kumar shared the same stage at former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge.
In BJP, he was seen as a member of LK Advani camp. When Advani handled the party, Kumar was seen as second-in-command.
Leaders express grief over the untimely death
After the news, leaders across the political spectrum expressed grief. Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy said Kumar will always be remembered for his contributions to the nation.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted, "My condolences to his family & friends. May his soul rest in peace."
President Kovind wrote it was a tragic loss for the country.
PM Modi is expected to fly down to Bengaluru for the last rites of Kumar.
PM Modi gives rich tributes to Kumar
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