Union minister Ananth Kumar, 59, died at 2 am Monday at Karnataka's capital Bengaluru. He was suffering from cancer. He represented Karnataka in the Lok Sabha from the Bengaluru south constituency since 1996. He was in charge of the Chemicals and Fertilizers ministry since May 2014 and Parliamentary Affairs since June 2016 in the Modi government. Several political leaders, including President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, took to social media to express their condolences.
Expressing his sadness over Ananth Kumar's death, PM Modi, in a tweet, said Ananth Kumar was "a remarkable leader" who "went on to serve society with utmost diligence and compassion".
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
In another tweet, he said Ananth Kumar "was a great asset to the BJP organistaion".
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
President Ram Nath Kovind also expressed grief over Ananth Kumar's death, saying the passing of the "veteran" parliamentarian was "a tragic loss to public life in our country and particularly for the people of Karnataka."
Sad to hear of the passing of Union minister and veteran parliamentarian Shri H.N. Ananth Kumar. This is a tragic loss to public life in our country and particularly for the people of Karnataka. My condolences to his family, colleagues and countless associates #PresidentKovind- President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) November 12, 2018
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi gave his condolences to the family of Ananth Kumar, and tweeted saying "May his soul rest in peace".
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
BJP chief Amit Shah also took to Twitter to say that "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."
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
Union home minister Rajnath Singh took to Twitter to say that he was "absolutely shocked and pained" by Ananth Kumar's death. "His passion and devotion for the welfare of people was commendable," he tweeted.
Absolutely shocked and pained by the demise of very senior colleague and a friend Shri Anant Kumar ji. He was a seasoned parliamentarian who served the nation in several capacities. His passion and devotion for the welfare of people was commendable. My condolences to his family.- राजनाथ सिंह (@rajnathsingh) November 12, 2018
My mind is filled with memories of working with Anant Kumar ji in the government and party organisation. These memories will stay with me. His demise is a big loss for the BJP. It is also a personal loss for me.- राजनाथ सिंह (@rajnathsingh) November 12, 2018
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman said she felt "deep sense of grief" on hearing about his death. She tweeted saying that Bengaluru "was in his head and heart, always."
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
Senior BJP leader and ex-Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa said he was "under deep grief to hear about the untimely demise of my friend and union minister Shri Ananth Kumarji".
I am under deep grief to hear about the untimely demise of my friend and union minister Shri Ananth Kumar ji. He worked tirelessly to strengthen the BJP in Karnataka and nation. May his soul rest in peace and God give strength to bear his loss to his family... pic.twitter.com/DZLuZNZsht- B.S. Yeddyurappa (@BSYBJP) November 12, 2018
Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj, paying her tributes to Ananth Kumar on Twitter, said that he was "like my younger brother."
I am pained to know about the sad demise of Shri Ananth Kumar. He was like my younger brother. His death is a personal loss for me.- Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) November 12, 2018
Former chief minister of Karnataka and current minister in the Modi government, Sadananda Gowda, said it was "unbelievable" that his "friend, brother Ananthkumar is no more".
Shocked , it's unbelievable , My friend , Brother Ananthkumar is no more . pic.twitter.com/zMOYEn7gXc- Sadananda Gowda (@DVSBJP) November 12, 2018
Union minister Suresh Prabhu said he was "shocked, extremely saddened...about this unbelievable news of my real dear friend of years Ananath Kumar passing away."
Shocked,extremely saddened learn about this unbelievable news of my real dear friend of years Ananath Kumar passing away.Its traumatic.He devotedly worked for @BJP4India rose to be national leader,built @BJP4Karnataka .We have lost great parliamentarian.condolences to his wife- Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) November 12, 2018
Ananth Kumar was born on July 22 in 1959, in Bengaluru and completed his graduation and law degree from Karnataka University, according to news agency ANI. He is survived by wife Tejaswini and daughters Aiswarya and Vijeta.