PRESIDENT RAM Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi were among the leaders from across the political spectrum who condoled the death of Union Minister H N Ananth Kumar on Monday.
“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,” President Kovind said.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu described Kumar as a “colleague for years together, from students’ movement to Parliament”, and hailed him as a “dedicated statesman”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was saddened by the death of a “valued colleague and friend”, and described Kumar as a remarkable leader who entered public life at a young age and went on to serve society with utmost diligence and compassion.
“Ananth Kumarji 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 tweeted.
BJP veteran L K Advani said Kumar had “carved a special niche for himself in politics”. “I am extremely shocked and saddened by the untimely demise of Union Minister Shri Ananth Kumar. Such an early age demise is an even bigger & irreparable loss to all of us and the country,” he said in his condolence message. Advani remembered Kumar, who was known to be his protege, as a “very popular, dynamic leader of the poor and downtrodden.”
“He served the nation and organisation with unparalleled zeal and dedication. Ananthji worked tirelessly to strengthen the BJP in the state of Karnataka. He was a remarkable administrator who served various ministerial portfolios. His passing away has left a void in the BJP and Indian polity that cannot be filled soon,” tweeted BJP president Amit Shah.
“I’m sorry to hear about the passing of Union Minister, Shri Ananth Kumarji, in Bengaluru, earlier this morning. My condolences to his family & friends. May his soul rest in peace. Om Shanti,” Congress president Rahul Gandhi said in his message.
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, also expressed his grief, saying he had lost a distinguished colleague.
Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said the country had lost a “valuable politician”. “As Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, he was always focussed on his job and managed the debates with a smile,” he said.