Minister of State for Railways and Karnataka BJP MP Suresh Angadi passed away on Wednesday, days after he tested positive for COVID-19. The 65-year-old passed away at 8 pm at the AIIMS trauma centre which has been converted into a dedicated COVID-19 facility, sources at the hospital said.
A fourth-term MP from Belagavi, Angadi is the first Union minister to have died of coronavirus. At least six MLAs and three MPs have earlier succumbed to it. Former president Pranab Mukherjee, who passed away on 21 August, was also diagnosed as COVID-19 positive. Angadi had on 11 September announced on microblogging site Twitter that he had contracted the disease.
The MP from Belagavi had requested all those who came in close contact with him over the last few days to monitor their health and get tested in case of any symptoms.
Angadi was a four-time Member of Parliament from Belagavi consecutively since 2004. The 65-year-old, survived by his wife and two daughters, was associated with the RSS from a young age.
Born on 1 June, 1955, in a Lingayat family to Somawwa and Channabasappa Angadi in village Koppa in Belagavi, Angadi did his graduation from SSS Samiti College of Commerce in the same district.
He did his law graduation from Raja Lakhamgouda Law College in Belagavi.
A businessman by profession, Angadi got a major break in his political career when he was appointed as the vice-president of Belagavi unit of the BJP and remained in that position till he was nominated as a party candidate for the Belagavi Lok Sabha constituency in 2004. He remained unbeatable since then and got elected in 2009, 2014, and 2019 as well.
He was also an educationist and headed the Belagavi-based Suresh Angadi Education Foundation, which runs various colleges.
He had big plans for Bengaluru and Karnataka. The minister was instrumental in making the suburban railway project in Bengaluru a reality, which was a long pending demand of the people of the city.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, railway minister Piyush Goyal and several other politicians condoled the Union minister's demise.
"Shri Suresh Angadi was an exceptional karyakarta, who worked hard to make the Party strong in Karnataka. He was a dedicated MP and effective Minister, admired across the spectrum. His demise is saddening. My thoughts are with his family and friends in this sad hour. Om Shanti," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter.
"Extremely saddened by the passing away of Central Minister Shri Suresh Angadi Ji. He was a remarkable leader who dedicated all his life for organisation and went on to serve society with utmost diligence and compassion. My thoughts and Prayers are with his family and followers," BJP president J P Nadda tweeted.
Goyal said on the micro-blogging website, "Deeply anguished at the unfortunate demise of Suresh Angadi ji. He was like my brother. Words fall short to describe his commitment & dedication towards the people. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this hour of need. Om Shanti".
Former prime minister and JDS chief HD Deve Gowda expressed his sadness over the demise and tweeted that Angadi was like a younger brother.
"I am shocked and deeply saddened by the demise of Union Minister of State for Railways and four-term MP from Belagavi Shri. Suresh Angadi. He was like a younger brother to me. I feel terrible losing him. This is an unbearable loss to our nation. May his soul rest in peace. May God give his family and well-wishers the strength to bear this pain," he tweeted.
Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar also termed the death as a tragic, terrible, and sad news.
"Shocked & Saddened by news of my MoS colleague, Shri Suresh Angadi ji's passing away. It is an unfathomable loss to the Government, people of Karnataka & the Party. His selfless service during COVID19 is still vivid before our eyes. My condolences to his family," tweeted MoS, Home G Kishan Reddy.