Union Minister Ananth Kumar died at the age of 59 in the wee hours of Monday in Bengaluru. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader died after battling cancer. He was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in the Karnataka capital.
The minister breathed his last at 2 am on Monday. News agency PTI quoted officials as saying that the BJP leader had not been well for sometime and was on ventillator for the past few days. The mortal remains of Ananth Kumar will be kept at his residence till 7 am on Tuesday, following which it will be taken to the BJP headquarters. The mortal remains will then be taken to National College, and the last rites will be held at Chamrajpet crematorium on Tuesday evening.
He represented Bengaluru South Lok Sabha constituency for six terms.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he was "extremely saddened", referring to Ananth Kumar as a "valued colleague and friend".
Taking to microblogging site Twitter, Prime Minister Modi said, "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."
"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."
"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," he said.
Reacting to the demise of the senior BJP leader, Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman expressed "deep sense of grief". She said, "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."
Ananth Kumar was serving as the Union minister for Chemical and Fertilizers and also as the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs. He had undergone treatment abroad as well, but returned to Bengaluru in October, following which he was admitted to a private hospital.
A lawyer by qualification, Kumar was born on July 22, 1959 in Bengaluru. He pursued his graduation in Arts from KS Arts College in Hubli and later went on to complete LLB from JSS Law College.
He is survived by wife Tejaswini and two daughters, Aishwarya and Vijeta.