Bengaluru : A pall of gloom descended on Union minister Ananth Kumar’s residence in the city on Monday as mourners turned up in large numbers to pay their last respects.
Kumar, 59, died at a private hospital here in the early hours of Monday after battling lung cancer for several months, hospital authorities said.
A steady stream of BJP leaders, relatives, family friends, party workers and people made a beeline to pay homage to the “most loved” Bengaluru MP, known for his affability.
The state government announced a three-day mourning and holiday on Monday in honour of Ananth Kumar. Schools and colleges were closed on Monday.
Governor Vajubhai Vala paid his last respects, placing a wreath on the body of Kumar.
BJP state chief B S Yeddyurappa, former deputy chief minister R Ashok, former minister S Suresh Kumar and many senior BJP and RSS functionaries offered their condolences to Kumar, who had remained unconquerable in Bengaluru South Lok Sabha constituency, winning it six times.
Yeddyurappa said it was a personal loss and Kumar was his guiding force.
Yeddyurappa later tweeted, “I am under deep grief to hear about the untimely demise of my friend and union minister Shri Ananth Kumar ji.He worked tirelessly to strengthen the BJP in Karnataka and nation. May his soul rest in peace and God give strength to bear his loss to his family.”
Leaders cutting across the party line expressed grief over the demise of Kumar.
In his condolence message, chief minister H D Kumaraswamy said, “Our families had friendship beyond politics. He always valued and had given priority to friendship. I have lost a great friend in his death.”
The chief minister described him as a value-based politician, who made significant contribution to the country as an MP and union minister.
“His pro-people attitude and activities had made him apple of eyes of Bengalurians”.
Deputy chief minister G Parameshwara said in his message that Kumar was his close friend and his death was a personal loss.
AICC general secretary and Karnataka in charge K C Venugopal said he was saddened by the demise of Kumar, whom he called a “remarkable personality.”
Kumar has left behind a deep void in national politics as well as Karnataka politics, he said.
Congress state president Dinesh Gundu Rao said, “Kumar was a stalwart of BJP from Karnataka who had a stupendous career at the national level from a very young age. He always did his politics with decency and decorum. We are going to miss him.