New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and several other political leaders expressed grief over the demise of Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ananth Kumar on Monday. Kumar passed away on early Monday at a private hospital in Bengaluru at 59.

In a series of tweets, President Ram Nath Kovind said, “Sad to hear of the passing of Union minister and veteran parliamentarian Shri H.N. Ananth Kumar. This is a tragic loss to public life in our country and particularly for the people of Karnataka. My condolences to his family, colleagues and countless associates.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Extremely saddened by the passing away of my valued colleague and friend, Shri Ananth Kumar Ji. He was a remarkable leader, who entered public life at a young age and went on to serve society with utmost diligence and compassion. He will always be remembered for his good work.”

He further wrote, “Ananth Kumar Ji was an able administrator, who handled many ministerial portfolios and was a great asset to the BJP organisation. He worked hard to strengthen the Party in Karnataka, particularly in Bengaluru and surrounding areas. He was always accessible to his constituents.”

Union Minister DV Sadananda Gowda expressed grief over Kumar’s demise and tweeted, “Shocked, it’s unbelievable, My friend, Brother Ananthkumar is no more.”

Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “I’m sorry to hear about the passing of Union Minister #AnanthKumar Ji, in Bengaluru, earlier this morning. My condolences to his family & friends. May his soul rest in peace. Om Shanti.”

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said, “It’s a shocking incident. This is a huge loss for the government as well as the party. #AnanthKumar Ji will be remembered as a good administrator & popular leader. I pay tribute to him on the behalf of Uttar Pradesh government.”

Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy said, “I have lost a great friend in his (Ananth Kumar) death. He was a value based politician, who made significant contribution to country as MP&Union Min. May his soul rest in peace & may God give strength to his family&his followers to endure this loss.”

Union Minister Piyush Goyal said, “I am deeply saddened by the news of Ananth Kumar ji’s sudden demise. Ananth ji was respected across party lines and was a guiding light for all of us. My thoughts are with his family in this hour of grief.”

Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted, “Deep sense of grief on hearing that Shri @AnanthKumar_BJP is no more with us. Served @BJP4India @BJP4Karnataka all along. Bengaluru was in his head and heart, always. May God give his family the strength to bear with this loss.”

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted, “Absolutely shocked&pained by demise of very senior colleague&a friend Shri Anant Kumar ji. He was a seasoned parliamentarian who served nation in several capacities. His passion&devotion for welfare of people was commendable. My condolences to his family.”

Ministry of Home Affairs announced that following the unfortunate demise of Union Minister Ananth Kumar, it has been decided that National Flag will fly at half mast throughout the country today and a State funeral will be accorded.

Three-day mourning has been declared in the Karnataka. One-day holiday declared.