Union minister HN Ananth Kumar, 59, passed away in Bengaluru in the early hours on Monday. He was suffering from severe complications and infection and was on ventilator support for the last few days.
The mortal remains of Ananth Kumar will now be taken to his house in Bengaluru and it will be placed in National College Grounds.
Union Minister Ananth Kumar was born into a middle-class family of Shri Narayan Shastri and Smt Girija N. Shastry on 22nd July 1959. He graduated in the faculty of Arts (B.A) from K.S.Arts College at Hubli and later, completed his bachelor’s in law (L.L.B) from J.S.S. Law College in Mysore.
When in college, inspired by nationalistic belief, he joined Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) to begin his political career. He rose to become one of the most popular and influential students’ unions leader in Karnataka.
Ananth Kumar rose to fame when he participated in the movement against Indira Gandhi government in 1975-77. Inspired by Jayaprakash Narayan, he protested and fought against the Emergency and was imprisoned at the age of 16.
Ananth Kumar has extensively worked at the grassroots level and has served various positions in ABVP to become National Secretary in 1985. In 1987 he entered active politics by joining the Bharatiya Janata Party. Ananth Kumar with his exceptional organisational skills took the challenge of building Bharatiya Janata Party in the southern state of Karnataka. In 1995 he was appointed as the National Secretary.
He contested and won his first elections in 1996 from Bangalore South constituency. He was a member of various committees coming under the ministry of railways and industry. In 1998 he was inducted into the Union Cabinet headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the Minister for Civil Aviation. He is widely considered to be the man behind the development of present Kempegowda International Airport at Bangalore.
In 1999, he won his third term from Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency and became one of the most important Cabinet ministers in the NDA government. He handled various ministries including Tourism, Sports & Youth Affairs, Culture, Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation.
During his term as the Cabinet Minister, he began to put together a National Urban Transport Policy, which became the blueprint for developing Metro Rail projects at Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Hyderabad & Bengaluru. Union Minister Ananth Kumar is also responsible for the development of Namma Bengaluru Metro project, which was approved by the then Vajpayee Cabinet in 2003.
In 2003, Ananth Kumar became the President of the Karnataka BJP, which is often cited as the golden era for Karnataka BJP. For the first time, under his leadership, BJP emerged as the single largest party in the elections in 2004 with 79 seats in the State Assembly and 17 seats in the Parliament.
Ananth Kumar is credited to be the person behind BJP’s rise in the southern states. Made National General Secretary from 2004 onwards, he played an important role in building the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Bihar.
He successfully won his sixth term to Lok Sabha in 2014 from Bangalore South constituency. He was the Union Cabinet Minister for Chemicals, Fertilizers & Pharmaceuticals in the Modi Cabinet in 2014 and initiated reforms in fertilizers sector by bringing revolutionary changes like the adoption of Neem Coated Urea and reviving & restarting the then fertilizer sector.
In July 2016, he was assigned the portfolio of Parliamentary Affairs in addition to Chemicals, Fertilizers & Pharmaceuticals. As the Minister for Parliamentary affairs, he ensured that the historic constitutional amendment for the GST (Goods & Services Tax) was passed unanimously in the Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha.