Junior Railways Minister Suresh Angadi has died nearly two weeks after he tested positive for coronavirus infection. He was admitted to AIIMS in Delhi after his condition worsened. He was the first Union Minister and the fourth MP to die due to COVID-19 infection.
Born in 1955, the BJP leader from Belgaum district in Karnataka has held several positions in the party in his long political career. He started as BJP vice president in Belgaum in 1996, and worked his way up.
He was elected MP in the Lok Sabha election in 2004, and again in 2009. He was elected for a third term in 2014, when the BJP came to power in the centre, and for a fourth term in the general election last year, after which he was made Union Minister of State for Railways.
President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted, "Shocked to know the passing away of Shri Suresh Angadi, Union Minister of State of Railways. An amiable leader Shri Angadi worked tirelessly for the people of his constituency, Belagavi and Karnataka."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted his condolences.
"Shri Suresh Angadi was an exceptional Karyakarta, who worked hard to make the Party strong in Karnataka. He was a dedicated MP and effective Minister, admired across the spectrum. His demise is saddening. My thoughts are with his family and friends in this sad hour. Om Shanti," PM Modi tweeted.
Shri Suresh Angadi was an exceptional Karyakarta, who worked hard to make the Party strong in Karnataka. He was a dedicated MP and effective Minister, admired across the spectrum. His demise is saddening. My thoughts are with his family and friends in this sad hour. Om Shanti. pic.twitter.com/2QDHQe0Pmj— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 23, 2020
Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) chief HD Deve Gowda tweeted, "I am shocked and deeply saddened by the demise of Union Minister of State for Railways and four-term MP from Belagavi Shri. Suresh Angadi. He was like a younger brother to me. I feel terrible losing him. This is an unbearable loss to our nation."
Mr Angadi was a law graduate. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
India has been reporting coronavirus cases upwards of 70,000 daily for the past few weeks. Other MPs who have died due to coronavirus infection are H Vasanthkumar, Ashok Gasti and Balli Durga Prasad Rao.