Minister of State for railways, Suresh Angadi passed away on Wednesday evening, becoming the first Indian Union Minister to die of Covid-19 virus. Angadi tested positive for COVID-19 in September 2020 and was initially asymptomatic. He was later hospitalized at AIIMS hospital in New Delhi.
Known as the ‘giant killer’ in political circles, Angadi was a Member of the Lok Sabha from Belgaum in Karnataka. In a political career that spanned over three decades, Angadi remained an unconquered warrior of the BJP. In a bid of farewell to the Union Minister, we share with you some interesting facts about Suresh Angadi:
1 – Angadi was born on 1 June 1955 to Somavva and Chanabasappa Angadi in an agricultural family in KK Koppa village near Belgaum (later renamed to Belagavi), of Karnataka. He belonged to the Lingayath community of the state.
2 – At an early age Suresh Angadi became associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and became an activist for it. A businessman by profession, the first major break for him in politics came when the BJP appointed him as their Vice president for Belagavi district. Later in 2001, he was made the president. He was instrumental in making a dent for BJP in Belagavi, hitherto considered a citadel of the Congress. In 2004, he himself led BJP to pull an upset and oust Congress from the district by becoming the member of the Lok Sabha from the constituency.
3 – Ever since, there has been no looking back for Angadi. Congress did try to take back their old citadel in Belagavi on multiple occasions, but all their attempts went in vein before the organizational skills of Angadi. He won consecutive elections from the same seat in 2009, 2014 and 2019. Throughout his career, Suresh Angadi remained undefeated.
4 – In 2019, Suresh Angadi joined the Union cabinet by becoming Minister of State for Railways. As minister, Angadi was characterised by his keen interest in tracking big-ticket projects. During the lockdown and even after, he, along with Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, chaired regular review meetings through video conferencing. He had big plans for Bengaluru and Karnataka. The minister was instrumental in making the suburban railway project in Bengaluru a reality, which was a long pending demand of the people of the city.
5 – Angadi was also known as an educationist. He headed the Belagavi-based Suresh Angadi Education Foundation, which runs various colleges.
With his demise, the BJP has certainly lost one of its most trusted kshatraps from the Southern state of Karnataka. It would be interesting to see who fills up his shoes to lead the party in Belgavi and Northern Karnataka.