New Delhi, Sep 23: Union Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi, who had tested positive for coronavirus passed away at AIIMS on Wednesday. He is the first sitting minister to have died after testing positive for the infection.
The national flag will be flown at half mast on Thursday in all government offices in Delhi due to the death of Union Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi, the Home Ministry announced.
"Due to the sad demise of Suresh Angadi, the minister of state for railways, it has been decided that the national flag will be flown half mast on September 24, 2020 in all government offices in Delhi where it is usually flown," a Home Ministry spokesperson said.
He had tested positive for the disease two weeks ago on September 11 and was initially asymptomatic.
The 65-year old Member of Lok Sabha from Belagavi constituency in Karnataka became seriously ill and was hospitalised a week ago. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences on Angadi's demise.
"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," Modi tweeted.
President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted,"Shocked to know the passing away of Shri Suresh Angadi, Union Minister of State of Railways. An amiable leader Shri Angadi worked tirelessly for the people of his constituency, Belagavi and Karnataka," Kovind tweeted.
"With his indomitable spirit, he carried out public service with humility and perseverance. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the loved ones," the President said in another tweet.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday expressed grief over the demise of Angadi and said he will always be remembered for his selfless service to the nation and the BJP.
"Deeply pained to learn about the passing away of MoS Railways and senior BJP leader from Karnataka, Shri Suresh Angadi ji. He will always be remembered for his selfless service to the nation and party. My deepest condolences are with his family. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti," Shah tweeted.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on the micro-blogging website, "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. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this hour of need. Om Shanti".
Former Prime Minister and JDS chief HD Deve Gowda expressed his sadness over the demise and tweeted that Angadi was like a "younger brother".
"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," he tweeted.
Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar also termed the death as a "tragic, terrible, and sad news".
"Shocked & Saddened by news of my MoS colleague, Shri Suresh Angadi ji's passing away. It is an unfathomable loss to the Government, people of Karnataka & the Party. His selfless service during COVID19 is still vivid before our eyes. My condolences to his family," tweeted MoS, Home G Kishan Reddy.
At least six MLAs and three MPs have earlier succumbed to it. Former President Pranab Mukherjee, who died on August 31, was also diagnosed as COVID-19 positive.