Politicians across party lines visited the residence of Union Minister and senior BJP leader Ananth Kumar on Monday to pay their last tributes following his demise earlier today.
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy expressed his condolences after meeting Ananth Kumar's family members at his residence. "He rose to become a national leader and his death is a big loss to the state. As an MP, the service he has done to the state and his ability to maintain relations with members in both his party and the opposition makes him a rare kind of leader in politics", Kumaraswamy told reporters.
Kumaraswamy's words were echoed by the leader of the opposition in the state - BS Yeddyurappa, who worked side-by-side with Ananth Kumar for over three decades. "Ananth Kumar's death is a huge loss to the party and the country. He gave great advice at critical times to guide the party and played a key role in developing the party in the state. His contributions can never be forgotten," he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the residence of Ananth Kumar on Monday night with Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Home Minister Rajnath Singh is expected to arrive on Tuesday morning. The BJP's state unit has made arrangements to conduct the last rites of Ananth Kumar at the Chamarajpet Burial Grounds in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
The remains of Ananth Kumar is currently at his residence in Basavangudi in the city. The body will be moved to the BJP office in Malleswaram in Bengaluru on Tuesday morning before being taken to the National College Grounds in Basavangudi.
"Arrangements will be made for party workers and supporters to pay their last respects to Ananth Kumar at the BJP office at 8 am. Then, the body will be taken to the National College Grounds and eventually to the burial grounds in Chamarajpet," confirmed S Prakash, BJP spokesperson.
Ananth Kumar had many friends even in the parties opposed to BJP, and was trusted by a succession of Karnataka Chief Ministers to voice the state's demands to the Centre. He was a six-term MP having never lost an election since he was elected all the way back in 1996 from the Bengaluru South constituency.