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Minister of State for Railways and Member of Parliament Suresh Angadi passed away on Wednesday evening at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) due to COVID-19. He is the first union minister to have died of coronavirus.
Angadi was a four-time parliamentarian from Belagavi constituency in the southern state of Karnataka. Earlier, in a September 11 Twitter post, the 65-year-old BJP leader had announced that he had contracted the infection and had requested all those who were in close contact with him to monitor their health and go for a medical check-up in case of any visible symptoms.
Condoling his demise, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi said, “Shri Suresh Angadi was an exceptional Karyakarta (party worker), 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.”
A resolution passed by the Union Cabinet stated, “The Cabinet expresses profound sorrow at the sad demise of Shri Suresh C. Angadi, Union Minister of State for Railways on 23rd September, 2020 at New Delhi. In his passing away, the nation has lost an eminent leader, an educationist, a distinguished parliamentarian and an able administrator.”
A law graduate, Angadi became the Vice-President of BJP’s Belagavi district unit in 1996. He was nominated as president of the party’s district unit in 2001 and continued to hold that post until he was nominated as the party’s candidate for the Belagavi Lok Sabha Constituency in 2004. He won by a notable margin and became a member of the 14th Lok Sabha.
As an MP, he served as a member on the Standing Committee on Food, Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution, Human Resources Development and Defence as well as Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Finance. He also served as Member of the Joint Committee on Pension, Salaries and Allowances for Members of Parliament, the Advisory Committee on Central Direct Taxes, the House Committee and the Committee on Petitions.
He was sworn in as MoS Railways in May 2019.
Angadi was involved in many social and cultural activities with a special interest in industry, agriculture and education of the poor. He was also Chairman, Suresh Angadi Education Foundation, Belgaum since 2009. He was fond of reading and travelling.