Union minister Anil Dave passes away suddenly

18 May 2017

Union environment minister Anil Dave, a long-time RSS member best known for crafting the BJP strategy to unseat Congress stalwart Digvijay Singh as Madhya Pradesh chief minister in 2003, died here today. He was 60.

The two-time Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh complained of uneasiness at his home this morning and was rushed to AIIMS where he passed away, according to official sources. The news of Dave, a bachelor, was broken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet, who said he was with the minister until late last evening, discussing policy issues. "Absolutely shocked by the sudden demise of my friend and a very respected colleague, Environment Minister Anil Madhav Daveji. My condolences," he said in the tweet. The demise is a personal loss.

Meanwhile, a senior doctor at AIIMS said: "The minister (Dave) was brought to AIIMS, New Delhi at around 8.50 AM. He was brought in a state of cardiac arrest. All measures were taken to resuscitate him. "He was declared dead at around 9.45 am," he said. Sources said the body will be taken to his residence at Safdarjung road and kept there for a few hours after which it will be flown to Indore where the minister's brother lives.

Union ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Narendra Singh Tomar, Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Thanwar Chand Gehlot, Harsh Vardhan and senior BJP leaders have reached AIIMS. Dave was sworn in as minister with independent charge of environment, forest and climate change last year. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha since 2009. He had a long-time association with the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh and shot into prominence in 2003 when he crafted the election strategy, leading to the defeat of Chief Minister Digvijay Singh.

President Pranab Mukherjee expressed shock at the sudden demise of the minister. Modi said Dave will be remembered as a devoted public servant who was tremendously passionate towards conserving the environment. Union home minister Rajnath Singh said he was saddened to learn of the demise of the minister.
"Dave was very active and sensitive to issues pertaining to environment. His dedication to work was highly appreciated. I offer my heartfelt condolences to the members of Anil Dave's family," Singh said. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condoled the death of the environment minister, saying the country has lost a very good parliamentarian and a popular leader. Dr Singh conveyed his condolences in a letter to Dave's nephew Kartik Sapre, his closest relative since the late leader was unmarried. "I have learnt with profound sorrow about the sad demise of your beloved uncle Shri Anil Madhav Dave. In his death our country has lost a very good parliamentarian and a popular leader," Singh wrote.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi too paid his tribute to the minister. "V.sad to learn of the sudden demise of Union Min Anil Madhav Daveji. He worked tirelessly for Narmada conservation," he tweeted. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee today expressed grief at the sudden demise of the Union minister of state. "Saddened at the sudden passing away of Union minister Anil Daveji. Condolences to his family, friends and colleagues," Banerjee wrote on Twitter. Chief ministers of several other states also expressed their grief at the sudden demise of the Union minister. (PTI)