Bengaluru: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Home Minister Rajnath Singh are expected to attend the cremation of Union minister Ananth Kumar in Bengaluru on Tuesday. Other Union ministers expected to attend the funeral are Prakash Jawdekar, Piyush Goyal, Dr. Harshavardhan, Radha Mohan Singh, Ashwini Kumar Choube, Ramdas Athawale, Dr. Mahesh Sharma and Ramkripal Yadav.

BJP national president Amit Shah is also expected to arrive around 12 noon. The body will be at the Karnataka BJP office from 8 AM where it will be kept for public darshan till 10 AM. Then, it will be shifted to National College Grounds. The cremation will take place at 1 PM in Chamarajpet TR Mill crematorium.

In his condolence message, Vice President Naidu said he was “shocked” and “deeply saddened” to learn about Kumar’s death.  “He has been a valued colleague of mine for years, right from the times of the students’ movement to the Parliament. He was a committed nationalist a celebrated and loved leader and a good administrator.

“A reputed parliamentarian and a captivating speaker, his personality was multifaceted. His illustrious career and the long list of his accomplishments in public life bear testimony to the selfless service he offered to our country,” he said.

Rajya Sabha Deputy Speaker Harivansh said Kumar’s death was a huge loss for Indian politics. “His sudden and untimely death is a matter of shock for me,” he said.

Harivansh said Kumar was known for his mild manners and cordiality among the people across all the political parties and he had all the qualities of head and heart which had endeared him to everyone. Describing him as a distinguished leader of his age, the RS deputy chairman said Kumar was so popular that he acted as a bridge between south and north in Indian politics.

Kumar died at a private hospital here in the early hours of Monday after battling lung cancer for several months, hospital authorities said. The 59-year-old MP breathed his last around 2 AM at the Sri Shankara Cancer Hospital and Research Centre.