Senior BJP leader and Union Fertilizer & Chemicals, and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Ananth Kumar, passed away early morning today at a hospital in Bengaluru, he was 59. He represented Bengaluru South since 1996, from where he got elected for six consecutive terms.
— ANI (@ANI) November 12, 2018
Ananth Kumar was suffering from cancer; he was in the advanced stage of pancreatic cancer. His wife Tejaswini Kumar and two daughters were with him in his last moments. He had gone through treatment at hospitals in London and New York. Last month, he had returned from the US after treatment. For the last few weeks, he was admitted at Sri Shankara Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Shakarapuram, Bengaluru but his health didn’t improve.
Tributes poured in for Ananth Kumar, PM Modi tweeted, “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.” He also 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.” PM Modi also spoke to Ananth Kumar’s family and expressed his condolences to the family.
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 tweeted, “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.”
Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu said, “Felt very sad about the demise of Ananth Kumar. He was ill for some time, but never expected that this will happen. We were hoping he would recover and join back public service. I convey my heartfelt condolences to his wife and children.”
Ananth Kumar was respected across the party lines and was very popular among people in Karnataka. The Karnataka state government has declared a three-day state mourning till November 14. He along with his wife ran Adamya Chetana, a voluntary organization working in the field of social development. It is engaged in providing good food, education, and health to people. It also provides mid-day meals to about two lakh school children every day. The organisation also works in the area of rural development and pitches up environmental issues as well.
News of his demise has come as a shock for the people of Karnataka especially of Basavanagudi, where he lived. He was very active in the region until recently. Ananth Kumar actively campaigned for the May 12 Assembly polls along with many other union cabinet ministers and leaders. He played a huge role in making Bengaluru, the IT capital of India. He is regarded as the voice of common man. He made several initiatives for the welfare and development of the people of his constituency as well as Karnataka. He was the first person who spoke in Kannada in the United Nations.
Ananth Kumar began his political journey as a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). During the darkest chapter of Indian democracy, emergency, he was imprisoned along with thousands of other student activists by the oppressive regime of Indira Gandhi. He was elected as the State Secretary of the ABVP and later, rose to the position of National Secretary in 1985. In a very quick period, he became the most influential student leader in the state. In 1996, at the age of 36, he was made National Secretary of the BJP. As a result, he was given ticket to contest Lok Sabha elections from Bengaluru South constituency which he won successfully and remained invincible since then. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he defeated INC candidate Nandan Nilekani by a margin of two lakh votes.
Ananth Kumar became cabinet minister all the three times when the BJP led NDA government came to power at the centre. In 1998, he was endowed with the responsibility of Civil Aviation Ministry. He was the youngest cabinet minister in the Vajpayee government. He also occupied many prominent positions within the BJP.
In 2014 with the arrival Modi led NDA government at the centre; Ananth Kumar became a key player in the Modi cabinet.
As Union Fertilizer Minister in Modi cabinet, some of his major achievements include Universal Neem-coated urea, Price reduction to about 85% on cardiac stents, Price reduction to about 69% on Knee Implants, reopening of closed Fertiliser plants in India, opening over 3600 Jan Aushadhi Kendras.
His death is a great loss to the nation and BJP. Hard-working, honest, decent, well-mannered and visionary leader like Ananth Kumar is hard to find. India has lost a great leader. Om Shanti.