India’s minister Suresh Angadi dies of coronavirus

Patients infected with the coronavirus are seen at a makeshift hospital converted from an exhibition centre in Wuhan on Wednesday. Photo: Xinhua. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NEW DELHI, Sep 23, 2020, India Today. Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi died of Covid-19 in New Delhi on Wednesday. He was 65-years-old, India Today reported.

Suresh Angadi had tested positive for Covid-19 on September 11 and was initially asymptomatic. Announcing his diagnosis on Twitter, the minister had said he was “doing fine”. The BJP MP was later admitted to the dedicated Covid-19 facility at the AIIMS Trauma Centre where he passed away at 8 pm on Wednesday.

He is the first member of the Union Cabinet to succumb to coronavirus. He is also the second member of Parliament from Karnataka to die of Covid-19 after BJP Rajya Sabha MP Ashok Gasti, who passed away last week. At least six MLAs and three MPs have earlier succumbed to it. Former President Pranab Mukherjee, who died on August 31, was also diagnosed as Covid-19 positive.

Suresh Angadi was a four-time Lok Sabha MP from Karnataka’s Belagavi constituency, elected in 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019.

Born on June 1, 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.

Suresh Angadi is survived by his wife and two daughters.

After news of MP Suresh Angadi’s death broke, condolences poured in for the minister from across party lines.

President Ram Nath Kovind expressed his shock at this sudden demise of Angadi. “Shocked to know the passing away of Shri Suresh Angadi, Union Minister of State of Railways. An amiable leader Shri Angadi worked tirelessly for the people of his constituency, Belagavi and Karnataka,” he tweeted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered Suresh Angadi and said he was “an exceptional karyakarta”.

“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,” PM Modi tweeted sharing a photo with Suresh Angadi.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah also expressed grief over the demise of Union Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi and said he will always be remembered for his selfless service to the nation and the BJP.

Former prime minister HD Devegowda wrote, “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.”

Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal also condoled Angadi’s demise.

“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.

Senior BJP colleague Shobha Karandlaje also tweeted a tribute to Suresh Angadhi saying that it was a sense of personal loss for her.

“Shocked beyond words that our leader, good friend, very hardworking and humble Union Minister for Railways Sri Suresh Angadi Ji is no more! For me it’s a sense of personal loss, May his soul attain sadgati!” she wrote.

Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar also termed the death as a “tragic, terrible, and sad news”.

“Shocked & Saddened by the 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.

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