Bengaluru: With Union Minister Ananth Kumar’s death, another BJP old hand passed away in the early hours of Monday. Ananth held the portfolios of Chemicals & Fertilisers and Parliamentary Affairs. He is survived by his widow and two daughters. Kumar represented Bengaluru South as the BJP MP.

Kumar had the distinct quality of outshining his peers wherever he went. Influenced by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) from a very young age, Kumar was a member of its student wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. He shot to limelight during the Emergency when he was imprisoned along with thousands of other student activists. Kumar went on to become the state secretary and then the national secretary of the ABVP.

Born on 22 July 1959 in Bengaluru, Kumar did his graduation in the faculty of Arts (B.A) from KS Arts College, Hubli affiliated to the Karnataka University and later, completed his bachelors in law (L.L.B) from J.S.S. Law College affiliated to the Karnataka University.

Later, he joined the BJP and was nominated as the state president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha. There as well, he was elevated to the post of national secretary in 1996.

In 1996, Kumar was elected from Bengaluru South Lok Sabha constituency. By 1998, he had become the first Indian politician to host an independent website. Kumar served as the Minister of Civil Aviation in the Atal Behari Vajpayee government, becoming the youngest Cabinet minister in that government. In 1999, he was re-elected to a third consecutive term and became a cabinet minister in the National Democratic Alliance government where he handled various ministries.

While he served as the president of the Karnataka state unit of BJP in 2003, by 2004, he had been appointed the national general secretary of the BJP. In 2014, Kumar was appointed Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers in the PM Narendra Modi Cabinet. Kumar held the Bengaluru South seat for two decades.