Mumbai : Politicians across party lines paid tributes to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union minister Ananth Kumar, who died in Bengaluru on Monday.
The 59-year-old parliamentary affairs minister breathed his last at a private hospital in the Karnataka capital after battling lung cancer for several months, hospital authorities said.
Union Minister for Water Resources Nitin Gadkari said his “close friend” Kumar had played a huge role in expanding the BJP’s base in Karnataka, the latter’s home state.
“He performed very well working as a minister in various portfolios and left an impeccable imprint with his work. I feel that I have lost a young brother from my family.
His sudden death is a huge loss for me. May his soul rest in peace,” Gadkari said.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said he was “shocked and deeply pained” by Kumar’s “untimely” demise.
He also lavished praise on Kumar for his performance as Union minister in the governments led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee (earlier) and Narendra Modi (currently).
“His contribution towards society, service to the people will be remembered forever. My deepest condolences to his family, friends, followers, karyakarta,” the chief minister said in a tweet.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar also expressed grief over Kumar’s demise and remembered him as a “very cooperative minister”.
“His visionary decision to make Neem coating of urea mandatory will have far reaching benefits for the farming community. He will always be remembered as a farmers’ leader,” Pawar said.
Senior Congress leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan also took to twitter to condole Kumar’s death.
“Deeply Saddened by the passing away of Union Minister, Shri Ananth Kumar ji. My condolences to his family & friends. May his soul rest in peace. #AnanthKumar,” he tweeted.
NCP leader Ajit Pawar, too, expressed grief.
“May Ananth Kumar’s soul rest in peace. Tributes!” he said on Twitter.
Kumar, a six-time parliamentarian, is survived by wife and two daughters.