A pall of gloom descended on Union minister Ananth Kumar's residence in the city on Monday as mourners turned up in large numbers to pay their last respects.
Kumar, 59, died at a private hospital here in the early hours of Monday after battling lung cancer for several months, hospital authorities said.
A steady stream of BJP leaders, relatives, family friends, party workers and people made a beeline to pay homage to the "most loved" Bengaluru MP, known for his affability.
The state government announced a three-day mourning and holiday on Monday in honour of Ananth Kumar. Schools and colleges were closed on Monday. "Following the unfortunate demise of Union Minister Ananth Kumar, it has been decided that the national flag will fly at half mast throughout the country today and a state funeral will be accorded," a Home Ministry spokesperson said.
Condolence messages pour in on the demise of Union Minister Ananth Kumar:
4:10 pm: Tamil Nadu CM E Palaniswamy, DMK chief MK Stalin condole death of Union Minister Ananth Kumar.
Expressing grief over the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader's demise, Palaniswami said Kumar had joined politics at a young age with the aim of doing public service.
"He had the distinction of being elected MP for six times from Bengaluru South from 1996 to 2014," Palaniswami said in a statement, expressing sympathy with Kumar's family.
Stalin, Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, also condoled Kumar's demise.
"Very sad to hear the demise of Union Minister Thiru (Mr) Ananth Kumar. My sincere condolences to his family and near ones," the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader said in a tweet.
12:48 pm: PM Modi will pay his last respects to the Union minister in Bengaluru tomorrow
11:25 am: BJP state chief BS Yeddyurappa, former deputy chief minister R Ashok, former minister S Suresh Kumar and many senior BJP and RSS functionaries offered their condolences to Kumar, who had remained unconquerable in Bengaluru South Lok Sabha constituency, winning it six times.
Yeddyurappa said it was a personal loss and Kumar was his guiding force.
Yeddyurappa later tweeted, "I am under deep grief to hear about the untimely demise of my friend and union minister Shri Ananth Kumar ji.He worked tirelessly to strengthen the BJP in Karnataka and nation. May his soul rest in peace and God give strength to bear his loss to his family."
ಅನಂತ ಕುಮಾರ್ ಅವರ ನಿವಾಸಕ್ಕೆ ಭೇಟಿ ನೀಡಿ ಅವರ ಪಾರ್ಥಿವ ಶರೀರದ ಅಂತಿಮ ದರ್ಶನ ಪಡೆಯುವ ಮೂಲಕ ಅವರ ಆತ್ಮಕ್ಕೆ ಶಾಂತಿ ಸಿಗಲಿ ಎಂದು ಭಗವಂತನಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರಾರ್ಥಿಸಲಾಯಿತು. pic.twitter.com/zTjOy4goDl— B.S. Yeddyurappa (@BSYBJP) November 12, 2018
11:18 am: Arun Jaitley: "The demise of Ananth Kumar is a great loss to the country, to the state of Karnataka, to the govt and my party. He was a leader of very high standing within the BJP. It was under his leadership that the party got its first foothold established in southern parts of India."
11:11 am: LK Advani: "I'm extremely shocked and saddened by the untimely demise of Union Minister Ananth Kumar. Ananth Kumar was a very popular, dynamic leader of the poor & downtrodden. May the departed soul rest in peace."
09:39 am: Union Minister and RLSP Chief Upendra Kushwaha: "It is a sad incident. The demise of Ananth Kumar is a huge loss to the NDA. I pray to God to give his family strength to bear this loss."
09:35 am: PM likely to chair special cabinet meeting to condole demise of Ananth Kumar
08:55 am: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar: "Ananth Kumar Ji was a hardworking politician and an admired social worker. He had a huge contribution in Karnataka politics. He will be always remembered for his good work. His demise is saddening."
08:51 am: Union Minister Piyush Goyal: "I am deeply saddened by the news of Ananth Kumar ji's sudden demise. Ananth ji was respected across party lines and was a guiding light for all of us. My thoughts are with his family in this hour of grief."
08:42 am: Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu: "Felt very sad about the demise of Ananth Kumar. He was ill for some time, but never expected that this will happen. We were hoping he would recover and join back public service. I convey my heartfelt condolences to his wife and children."
08:40 am: UP CM Yogi Adityanath: "It's a shocking incident. This is a huge loss for the government as well as the party. Ananth Kumar Ji will be remembered as a good administrator & popular leader. I pay tribute to him on the behalf of Uttar Pradesh government."
08:37 am: Following the unfortunate demise of Union Minister Ananth Kumar, it has been decided that National Flag will fly at half-mast throughout the country today and State funeral will be accorded: Ministry of Home Affairs
08:36 am: Karnataka government declares three-day state mourning to observe the Union minister's demise. One-day holiday declared for today
07:44 am: Rahul Gandhi: "I am sorry to hear about the passing of Union Minister Ananth Kumar Ji, in Bengaluru, earlier this morning. My condolences to his family and friends. May his soul rest in peace. Om Shanti."
07:40 am: Union Min Prakash Javadekar: "Death of Ananth Kumar Ji is a huge loss for the country and also a personal loss. He was a great friend and guide for all of us. In recent Karnataka elections, we worked in and out and his sudden death is shocking. We'll participate in his last rites in Bengaluru."
07:31 am: Amit Shah: "Ananth ji was a remarkable administrator who served various ministerial portfolios. His passing away has left a void in the BJP and Indian polity that can not be filled soon. May God give his family & supporters strength to bear this tragic loss. My deepest condolences."
07:14 am: Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy: "I have lost a great friend in his (Ananth Kumar) death. He was a value based politician, who made significant contribution to country as MP&Union Min. May his soul rest in peace & may God give strength to his family&his followers to endure this loss."
06:27 am: PM Modi: "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. Ananth Kumar Ji was an able administrator, who handled many ministerial portfolios and was a great asset to the BJP organisation. He worked hard to strengthen the Party in Karnataka, particularly in Bengaluru and surrounding areas. He was always accessible to his constituents. I spoke to his wife, Dr. Tejaswini Ji and expressed condolences on the passing away of Shri Ananth Kumar Ji. My thoughts are with his entire family, friends and supporters in this hour of grief and sadness. Om Shanti."
06:40 am: President Kovind: "Sad to hear of the passing of Union minister and veteran parliamentarian Shri H.N. Ananth Kumar. This is a tragic loss to public life in our country and particularly for the people of Karnataka. My condolences to his family, colleagues and countless associates"
05:59 am: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman: "Deep sense of grief on hearing that Shri Ananth Kumar is no more with us. Served BJP all along. Bengaluru was in his head and heart, always. May God give his family the strength to bear with this loss."
05:53 am: "Shocked , it’s unbelievable , My friend , Brother Ananthkumar is no more," Union Minister Sadananda Gowda said in his tweet.
He held charge in two key ministries- Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers since May 2014 and as Minister of Parliamentary Affairs since July 2016 in the Narendra Modi government. He has represented Bengaluru South constituency in the Lok Sabha since 1996. PM Modi is likely to visit Bengaluru today at 10:30 am.
The Union minister had previously undergone extensive treatment in London and New York, but had returned to bengaluru in October, where he was admitted to a private hospital. He is survived by wife Tejaswini and two daughter--Aishwarya and Vijeta.
Ananth Kumar completed his graduation in faculty of Arts (B.A) from KS Arts College, Hubli affiliated to the Karnataka University. He later completed his Bachelors in Law (BA LLB) from JSS Law College affiliated to the Karnataka University. (Read Ananth Kumar's full profile here)