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Ananth Kumar, senior Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union minister for chemicals, fertilisers and parliamentary affairs, took his last breath in Bengaluru in the early hours on Monday (12 November) at 59(year).

The six-time parliamentarian from Bengaluru South was suffering from cancer and had returned from the US last month after treatment in New York.

Expressing deep sorrow over the leader’s death “Extremely saddened by the passing away of my valued colleague and friend, Shri Ananth Kumar Ji. He was a remarkable leader, who entered public life at a young age and went on to serve society with utmost diligence and compassion. He will always be remembered for his good work,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter.

Nirmala Sitharaman, minister for defence also expresses her condolence “Deep sense of grief on hearing that Shri @AnanthKumar_BJP is no more with us. Served @BJP4India @BJP4Karnataka all along. Bengaluru was in his head and heart, always. May God give his family the strength to bear with this loss,”, she tweeted.

“Our families had a friendship beyond politics. He always valued and had given priority to friendship. I have lost a great friend in his death,” Karnataka Chief Minister H.D.Kumaraswamy said in a statement.

Kumar was born on 22 July 1959 in Bangalore, Karnataka to H N Narayan Sastry and Girija Shastry. He graduated in faculty of Arts (B.A) from K S Arts College; Hubli affiliated to the Karnataka University and later, completed his bachelor’s in law (L.L.B) from J.S.S. Law College affiliated to the Karnataka University.  He was married to Dr. Tejaswini and the couple has 2 daughters – Aishwarya and Vijeta.

He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1996. In 1998, he became the youngest member of the Vajpayee cabinet and he returned as minister in 1999.

In 2003, he became the BJP’s Karnataka chief. The party won the highest number of seats in the assembly and the Lok Sabha under his stewardship.

The minister’s wife Tejaswini and two daughters were with him in his last moments. His body will be kept at National College grounds in Bengaluru for last respects.

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