Bengaluru, Nov 13 (IANS) Thousands of people, including union and state ministers and the general public, paid homage to late Union Minister Ananth Kumar here on Tuesday.
The 59-year-old Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader died on Monday at a private hospital here due to multiple organ failure.
Kumar’s body was kept in a glass casket draped in the national flag for people to pay their last respects.
Thousands of people, including school children, gathered at the National College Grounds from across Bengaluru to pay homage to him.
Among the national leaders who paid floral tributes to Kumar were Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar, Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala and Union Minister for Statistics and Implementation D.V. Sadananda Gowda.
The Vice-President laid a floral wreath on the casket containing Kumar’s body and consoled Kumar’s widow Tejaswini, their two daughters Aishwarya and Vijeta and the late Minister’s siblings – brother Nand Kumar and sister Suhasini.
State leaders including BJP Karnataka unit President B.S. Yeddyurappa, former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, Congress Lok Sabha legislator from Karnataka M. Veerappa Moily and other legislators also paid tributes to Kumar.
A state funeral will be held later in the day with military honours and a 21-gun salute before the last rites which will be conducted at the Chamarajpet crematorium in the city’s southwest suburb.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP’s national president Amit Shah and other Union Ministers are expected to attend the funeral.
Kumar’s body was shifted from his residence at Basavangudi to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state unit office in Malleshwaram in the northwestern suburb at 9 a.m. on a flower-bedecked military vehicle by personnel from the Army, Air Force and Navy.
The body was later shifted to the National College Grounds at around 11 a.m. for the public to pay tributes.
Party cadres from across the country had earlier gathered at the state unit office and paid their respects to Kumar.
Kumar, a six-time parliamentarian from the high-profile Bengaluru South Lok Sabha constituency since 1996, held the Parliamentary Affairs and Chemicals Fertilisers portfolios in the NDA-led government at the Centre.
He had undergone treatment for cancer in the UK and the US since August and was admitted to a city hospital since October 21.