Union Minister Ananth Kumar passes away in Bengaluru; a staunch RSS man, known for political adroitness

Union Minister Ananth Kumar passes away in Bengaluru; a staunch RSS man, known for political adroitness

BENGALURU: Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar died at a private hospital here in the early hours of Monday after battling lung cancer for several months, hospital authorities said.nnKumar, 59, breathed his last around 2 am with his wife Dr Tejaswini and two daughters Aishwarya and Vijetha by his bedside, Sankara Hospital Director Nagaraj told PTI.nnHe had come back to Bengaluru only recently after undergoing treatment in the US and Britain. He was later under treatment at the Sankara Hospital here.nnBJP sources said the body of Kumar would be kept at the National College Ground, which falls in his Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency, for public homage.nnDetails of funeral arrangements were being worked out, the sources said.nnKumar passed away from complications following cancer and infections, his party office said in a statement.nnHe had been on the ventilator in the Intensive Care Unit for the last few days, it said.nnExpressing his grief, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was extremely saddened by the passing away of “my valued colleague and friend” and described him as a remarkable leader, who entered public life at a young age and went on to serve society with utmost diligence and compassion.nnHe will always be remembered for his good work, he said in a tweet.nn”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,” Modi said in another tweet.nnThe Prime Minister said he spoke to Kumar’s wife Dr Tejaswini and expressed condolences. “My thoughts are with his entire family, friends and supporters in this hour of grief and sadness. Om Shanti,” he said.nnA a six-time member of Parliament, Kumar had climbed the political ladder steadily from being an RSS worker to be the Union minister in his thirties.nnKumar had been in the inner circle of the central leadership of the BJP — be it during the heydays of Atal Bihari Vajpayee or L K Advani and now Narendra Modi.nnHe joined the BJP in 1987 and never looked back, as he held posts of state secretary, state president of the Yuva Morcha, general secretary and national secretary.nnAlong with state BJP chief Yeddyurappa, Kumar is among a few party leaders who can be credited for the growth of BJP in Karnataka, as they built the party and bringing it to power in 2008, making it the first saffron party government in the South..nnKumar first got elected to Lok Sabha in 1996 from Bangalore South, the constituency, which remained his bastion till his passing away.nnKumar, a staunch RSS man, known for political adroitnessnnA staunch RSS ideologue, a hard boiled organisation man, Bengaluru’s “most loved” MP and the first person to speak in Kannada in the United Nations are some of the connotations associated with Union Minister Kumar.nnKnown for his political adroitness, Kumar, a six-time member of Parliament, gregarious with strong political instincts, had managed to be in the inner circle of the central leadership of the BJP — be it during the heyday of Atal Bihari Vajpayee or L K Advani and now Narendra Modi.nnBorn in a middle class Brahmin family on July 22, 1959, in Bengaluru to Narayan Shastri, a railway employee, and Girija N Shastry, his early education began under the guidance of his mother who herself was a graduate.nnGraduate in Arts and Law, Kumar’s journey into public life began due to his association with the Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, a student organisation of the Sangh Pariwar, which he served in various capacities, including the state secretary and the national secretary.nnKumar had even demonstrated against the then Indira Gandhi government’s imposition of Emergency and had also got imprisoned for it for about 30 days.nnWith his steady political growth, his association with the Sangh, where he was mentored politically, also grew stronger.nnLooking for bigger ground in politics, Kumar joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1987, where he went on to to take up the responsibilities of state secretary, state president of the Yuva Morcha, general secretary and national secretary.nnKumar began his parliamentary career when he got elected to Lok Sabha in 1996 from Bangalore South, the constituency which remained his strong fort till his passing sway, by winning it for six consecutive times.nnHe enjoyed the credit of being the “youngest” minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s cabinet in 1998. He served as the Civil Aviation minister, also Minister for Tourism, Sports, Youth Affairs & Culture, Urban development & poverty alleviation.nnKumar, who also held positions in various parliamentary committees, was serving as the Union Cabinet Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Chemicals and Fertilizers in the Narendra Modi led government, after winning the 15th Lok Sabha election from Bengaluru south by defeating IT Czar Nandan Nilekani.nnHe is widely credited for implementing Neem Coated Urea and setting up of Jan Aushadhi Kendras with focus on affordable quality health care.nnWhile being the all important member of the BJP’s parliamentary board, Kumar is often regarded as the “Delhi face” of the Karnataka BJP and also for the state government who could be counted upon for taking issues concerning Karnataka.nnHe is known to have had politically hostile relationship with Yeddyurappa on occasions and often faced accusations of meddling too much in Karnataka affairs, when the the Lingayat strongman was at the helm of affairs in the state as its Chief Minister.nnKumar is the Chief Patron of Adamya Chetana, an NGO involved in social work which he runs along with his wife in the memory of his mother Girija Shastry.nn┬ánnSource: Press Trust of India

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