Minister of State for Railways, Suresh Angadi passed away on Wednesday at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi. At the age of 65, he was undergoing treatment for COVID-19 detected two weeks ago, on September 11. The BJP leader took his last breath at around 8 p.m. at the AIIMS trauma centre which has currently been converted to a dedicated COVID-19 facility, sources at the hospital told PTI. Earlier, at least six MLAs and three MPs have succumbed to the virus, but he is the first Union minister to have died of the coronavirus. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has directed that the national flag will be flown at half-mast in all the government offices in Delhi on Thursday.
Four-time BJP MP from Belagavi, elected to Lok Sabha in 2004, 2009, 2014, and 2019, Suresh Angadi started his political career with the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1996 from Belagavi district in North Karnataka. In May 2019, he was sworn in as the Minister of State for Railways and served the office till his death on 23 September 2020. He also headed the Suresh Angadi Education Foundation which runs several colleges across Karnataka.
The President & the Prime Minister express grief
Tweeting about the sudden demise, President Ram Nath Kovind wrote, “Shocked to know the passing away of Shri Suresh Angadi, Union Minister of State of Railways. An amiable leader Angadi worked tirelessly for the people of his constituency, Belagavi and Karnataka. With his indomitable spirit, he carried out public service with humility and perseverance. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the loved one.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi also wrote, “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.”
Several politicians joined in to express their sorrow over the loss of an ardent political leader. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal sent his condolence, “Deeply anguished at the unfortunate demise of Suresh Angadi ji. He was like my brother. Words fall short to describe his commitment & dedication towards the people.”
Karnataka leaders including the former Prime Minister HD Devegowda also 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. May his soul rest in peace. May God give his family and well-wishers the strength to bear this pain.” Congress leader Jairam Ramesh also mourned Angadi’s death and tweeted, “I remember the ever smiling Angadi-ji. Very pained at hearing this sad news.”