Former Karnataka Minister and senior Congress leader, Qamar ul Islam passed away on Monday morning following a cardiac arrest.
The former Minister had been admitted to Bengaluru’s Narayana Hrudayalaya a few days ago, after he fell sick. He was 69 years old.
His body will be transported to Kalaburgi, where the last rites will be performed later in the day. A veteran politician with a strong following in northern Kalaburgi, Qamar ul Islam entered the political sphere in 1974.
A six-time MLA from the Gulbarga North constituency, he first entered the Assembly in 1978, as a candidate of the Muslim League. He was elected as an MP in 1996.
In 1999, he was appointed the Minister of Housing and Small Scale Industries in the SM Krishna Cabinet.
He also held several ministerial portfolios including the Minister for Municipal Administration, Public Enterprises, Minority Development and Waqf from May 2013 to June 2016 in the present Karnataka state government led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
He was, however, dropped from his ministerial position during the cabinet reshuffle in June 2016.
His exit from the cabinet kicked up a major row, as he called his exit an insult to the Muslim community in north Karnataka. His supporters from the Gulbarga North constituency had also called for a bandh in the entire district.
In July this year, Qamar ul Islam was appointed the AICC Secretary in-charge of Kerala, after speculation emerged that he was planning to quit the party.
As news of his death spread, condolences from Congress leaders poured in.
ಮಾಜಿ ಸಚಿವ ಹಾಗೂ ಹಿರಿಯ ರಾಜಕಾರಣಿ ಖಮರುಲ್ ಇಸ್ಲಾಂರವರ ಸಾವಿನ ಸುದ್ದಿ ಆಘಾತ ತಂದಿದೆ. ಅವರ ಕುಟುಂಬವರ್ಗಕ್ಕೆ ನನ್ನ ತೀವ್ರ ಸಂತಾಪಗಳು.— CM of Karnataka (@CMofKarnataka) September 18, 2017
My deepest condolences to family of Qamar ul Islam Saab on his demise. May God give him eternal rest & may his soul rest in peace!— KJ George (@thekjgeorge) September 18, 2017