Union Minister Ananth Kumar passes away

New Delhi, Nov 12: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar died at a private hospital in Bengaluru in the early hours of Monday, party spokesman said. He was suffering from cancer and had come back from the United States in October after treatment at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, New York. Kumar, 59, is survived by wife and two daughters. He breathed his last around 4 am, party spokesman Prakash told PTI. Kumar's wife Tejaswini and his two daughters were with him when he passed away, he said. Kumar was a BJP MP from south Bengaluru constituency. Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the demise of Kumar. "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," he tweeted. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also expressed deep sorrow over Kumar's death. "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.

 The last rites of Union minister Ananth Kumar, who passed away in Bengaluru Monday, will be performed on Tuesday afternoon, Karnataka BJP said. The mortal remains of Kumar was placed at his residence in Basavanagudifor the entire day today, state BJP General Secretary N RaviKumar said in a statement. He said, by 8 am on Tuesday, it would be taken to Jagannath Bhavan, BJP state office at Malleshwaram, where arrangements would be made for party workers and his followers to pay their last respects. Kumar's body would then be taken to National College Ground in the city for public to pay their respects, and the last rites would be performed at 1 pm at Chjamarajapete crematorium, the statement added. Kumar died at a private hospital in Bengaluru in the early hours of Monday after battling lung cancer for several months.