Senior BJP leader and Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar died at a private hospital here in the early hours of Monday, party spokesman said.
He was suffering from cancer and had come back from the US in October after treatment at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, New York. Kumar, 59, is survived by wife and two daughters. He breathed his last around 4 am, party spokesman Prakash said. Kumar’s wife Tejaswini and his two daughters were with him when he passed away, he said. Kumar was a BJP MP from south Bengaluru constituency.
The national flag will fly at half mast throughout the country on Monday as a mark of respect to Union Minister Ananth Kumar, who passed away in the early hours, the Home Ministry announced. The Central government will also accord a state funeral to the Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister. “Following the unfortunate demise of Union Minister Ananth Kumar, it has been decided that the national flag will fly at half mast throughout the country today and a state funeral will be accorded,” a Home Ministry spokesperson said.
The last rites of Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar, who passed away here Monday, would be performed on Tuesday afternoon, Karnataka BJP said. The mortal remains of Kumar would be placed at his residence in Basavanagudifor the entire day today, state BJP General Secretary N RaviKumar said in a statement. He said, by 8 AM on Tuesday, it would be taken to Jagannath Bhavan, BJP state office at Malleshwaram, where arrangements would be made for party workers and his followersto pay their last respects.
Kumar’s body would then be taken to National College Ground in the city for public to pay their respects, and the last rites would be performed at 1 PM at Chjamarajapete crematorium, the statement added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the demise of Kumar. “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,” he tweeted.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also expressed deep sorrow over Kumar’s death. “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,” she tweeted.