Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader leader and Union minister Ananth Kumar died early Monday morning in Bengaluru, officials said.

He was 59.

Union Parliamentary Affairs and Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister Ananth Kumar had not keeping well for sometime. He had been diagnosed with cancer earlier this year.

Kumar, a BJP MP from South Bengaluru constituency, had been on ventilator for the last few days, ministry officials said.

“Minister Ananth Kumar passed away at 3 a.m. at a private hospital where he was undergoing treatment for cancer,” BJP legislator R Ashoka told reporters in Bengaluru.

According to reports, his mortal remains will be kept at his house on Lalbagh Road till 8 am for family members to pay tribute. Later, it will be shifted to the National College Grounds.

In his condolence message, President Ram Nath Kovind called the minister’s death a “tragic loss”.

“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,” the President tweeted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed sadness over his party and ministerial colleague’s death.

“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 posted on Twitter.

Calling him an “able administrator, who handled many ministerial portfolios”, Modi said Ananth Kumar 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,” the PM tweeted.

The PM said he spoke to Ananth Kumar’s wife Dr Tejaswini and offered condolences.

Other leaders and ministers also expressed condolences over the leader’s demise.

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

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said Ananth Kumar was popular among the people of Bengaluru due to his work, and he made significant contribution to the country as a politician. He tweeted: “Deeply pained to hear about the untimely death of Uni.Minister and a dear friend #Ananthakumar.
A value-based politician, a pro people leader, who made a significant contribution to the country as an MP &Uni.Minister. I have lost a great friend.
May his soul rest in peace.”

“Our families had a friendship beyond politics. He always valued and had given priority to friendship. I have lost a great friend in his death,” NDTV quoted the Karnataka CM as saying.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi too offered condolences over the BJP leader’s death. “I’m sorry to hear about the passing of Union Minister, Shri Ananth Kumar ji, in Bengaluru, earlier this morning. My condolences to his family & friends. May his soul rest in peace. Om Shanti,” he posted on Twitter.