Karnataka declares three-day mourning as mark of respect to Ananth Kumar

File photo of Ananth Kumar. Photograph:( ANI )

PTI Bengaluru, Karnataka, India Nov 12, 2018, 10.14 AM (IST)

The Karnataka government has declared a three-day state mourning till November 14 as a mark of respect to Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar, who died early in the morning today.

The Karnataka government has also declared a holiday today as a mark of respect to Kumar, who died at the age of 59. "His last rites would be performed with full government honour," an official release from the state government said.

Kumar died at a private hospital in Bengaluru at around 2 am this morning. He was being treated for lung cancer for several months.

The government notification said that there would be no official programs held during the state mourning. The national flag would fly at half mast on all government buildings, it said.

Condoling Ananth Kumar's death, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said he has "lost a great friend."

"Our families had a friendship beyond politics. He always valued and gave priority to friendship. I have lost a great friend in his death," Kumaraswamy said in a statement.

Describing him as a "value-based politician", who made a significant contribution to the country as an MP and Union Minister, the chief minister said, his pro-people attitude and activities had made him the "apple of the eye of Bengalurians".

Kumaraswamy will directly arrive at the National College Ground from Mysuru today, and will pay his last respects to the departed leader, the chief minister's office said.

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A state government notification said that there would be no official programs held during the state mourning. The national flag would fly at half mast on all government buildings, it said.