Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Ananth Kumar passed away in the wee hours of Monday at a private hospital in Bengaluru. He was suffering from cancer and had come back from the US in October after treatment at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, New York.
Kumar was holding charge of two key ministries – Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, and Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs in the Union Cabinet. He is survived by two daughters – Aishwarya and Vijeta and wife Dr Tejaswini. His mortal remains will be kept at National College in Bengaluru at 10 am for last tributes. He was one of the few ministers to have served in the earlier NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Here are some facts you should know about Union Minister Ananth Kumar:
- Ananth Kumar was born on 22nd July 1959 in Bangalore, Karnataka.
- Kumar did his graduation in the faculty of Arts (B.A) from KS Arts College, Hubli affiliated to the Karnataka University and later, completed his bachelors in law (L.L.B) from J.S.S. Law College affiliated to the Karnataka University.
- Having been influenced by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, he was a member of its student wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. He was elected as the State Secretary of the ABVP and later, became its National Secretary in 1985.
- He later joined BJP and was nominated as the State President of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha. He was then made National Secretary of the party in 1996.
- During the Emergency, he was imprisoned along with thousands of other student activists by the Indira Gandhi government.
- In January 1998, ahead of the general election that year, Kumar became the first Indian politician to host an independent website when he launched www.dataindia.com and www.ananth.org.
- Since 1996 he had represented Bengaluru South constituency in the Lok Sabha. In 1999, was inducted into the Union cabinet headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the Minister for Civil Aviation and became the youngest cabinet minister.
- Ananth Kumar has earlier headed various ministries during his political journey. Ministries like Tourism, Sports & Youth Affairs, Culture, Urban Development, and Poverty Alleviation. Ananth Kumar had been winning elections from Bengaluru South constituency for six consecutive times.
- He became the President of the Karnataka state unit of BJP in 2003 and led the state unit which became the single largest party in the Legislative Assembly and won the highest number of Lok Sabha seats in 2004 in Karnataka.
- On 26 May 2014, Kumar was appointed Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers in the cabinet. And in July 2016 he was also given another portfolio of Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs in the Union Cabinet.
(With inputs from Agencies)