Environment Minister Anil Dave passed away early this morning. He was 60. Dave had been unwell since January this year after suffering from pneumonia. He had not been able to recover since. Early this morning, he was rushed to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences where he passed away. Dave was first elected to Rajya Sabha in August 2009. MoS Jitendra Singh told reporters this morning that Dave passed away following a cardiac arrest. “It was a cardiac arrest, we lost a popular colleague, his loss will be felt for a long time to come,” Singh said.
An MP representing Madhya Pradesh, Anil Dave took charge as Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge), on July 06, 2016, following a reshuffle in the Narendra Modi Cabinet. He was also very passionate on projects including conservation of the Narmada river through an organisation ‘Narmada Samagra’ that he founded.
A day of mourning has been announced by the Union government. The National Flag will fly half-mast in New Delhi and all State and UT capitals as a mark of respect.
“Absolutely shocked by the sudden demise of my friend & a very respected colleague, Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave ji. My condolences. Anil Madhav Dave ji will be remembered as a devoted public servant. He was tremendously passionate towards conserving the environment. I was with Anil Madhav Dave ji till late last evening, discussing key policy issues. This demise is a personal loss,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted this morning.
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu also tweeted his condolences: “Shocked and extremely sad to know the sudden demise of my colleague Sri Anil Madhav Dave ,Environment Minister.My heartfelt condolences.” Cabinet colleague Nitin Gadkari, too, expressed his condolences: “Shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden demise of our colleague Anil Madhav Dave ji. My heartfelt condolences to his family.”
Congress president Sonia Gandhi also condoled the passing away of Anil Dave. “Shocked by his sudden demise,” Gandhi said adding that Dave was a soft spoken and gentle human being. “He will be fondly remembered for his humble personality,” she added. Gandhi also conveyed her condolences to members of Dave’s family as well as his admirers and supporters.
Born in Madhya Pradesh on July 6, 1956, Anil Dave held several posts including as Member, Standing Committee on Environment and Forest and Science & Technology; Member, Standing Committee of Water Resources; Member (Board of Governors) of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan; Nominated Member of Indian Council for Cultural Relations; Chairman, Select Committee on Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 and Chairman, Select Committee on Coal Mines (Special Provision) Bill, 2015.
Anil Dave was also an author having authored several books on various subjects including environment and climate change. Beyond Copenhagen; Yes I Can, So Can We; Creation to Cremation; rafting through a civilization: a travelogue; Shatabdi ke Paanch Kaale Panne; Sambhal Ke Rehna Apne Ghar Me Chhupe Hue Gaddaron Se; Mahanayak Chandrashekhar Azad; Roti Aur Kamal ki Kahani; Samagra Gram Vikas, are some of them.