Minister of State for Railways Suresh Chanabasappa Angadi became the first Union minister to succumb to the coronavirus on Wednesday.
Angadi, 65, passed away less than two weeks after he was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on September 11 with symptoms of Covid-19.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led his colleagues in the government and party in offering condolences. “Shri Suresh Angadi was an exceptional karyakarta, who worked hard to make the party strong in Karnataka. He was a dedicated MP and effective minister, admired across the spectrum. His demise is saddening. My thoughts are with his family and friends in this sad hour. Om Shanti,” the PM tweeted Wednesday night.
In Photos| Remembering Suresh Angadi
Angadi, a four-time MP from Belagavi in Karnataka and a first-time Union minister, was considered a party heavyweight, with his influence cutting across North Karnataka. Angadi became an MP from Belagavi (Belgaum) constituency for the first time in 2004, after which he won every successive Lok Sabha election.
“I am shocked and saddened by the demise of… Suresh Angadi. He was like a younger brother to me. I feel terrible losing him. This is an unbearable loss to our nation,” former prime minister and JD(S) leader H D Devegowda tweeted.
On September 11, the day he was admitted to AIIMS, Angadi tweeted: “I have tested #Covid19 positive today. I am doing fine. Taking the advise of doctors. Requesting all those who have come in close contact with me in the last few days to monitor their health and get tested in case of any symptoms.”
As railway minister, Angadi was characterised by his keen interest in tracking big-ticket projects. During the lockdown and even after, he, along with Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, chaired regular review meetings through video conferencing.
“Deeply anguished at the unfortunate demise of Suresh Angadi ji. He was like my brother. Words fall short to describe his commitment & dedication towards the people. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this hour of need. Om Shanti,” Goyal tweeted.
Angadi’s death follows that of BJP’s newly elected Rajya Sabha member Ashok Gasti, 55, who died of Covid last week in Bengaluru. Earlier, YSRCP’s Tirupati MP Balli Durga Prasad Rao, 64, died in Chennai and Congress MP from Kanyakumari H Vasanthakumar, 70, died of Covid in August.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines