Anil Dave, environment minister and BJP strategist, is no more
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 on Thursday. He was 60.
The two-time Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh complained of uneasiness at his home Thursday 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 Wednesday evening, discussing policy issues.
"Absolutely shocked by the sudden demise of my friend & a very respected colleague, Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave ji. My condolences," he said in the tweet. The demise is a personal loss. Dave was sworn in as a minister with independent charge of environment, forest and climate change last year. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha since 2009.
Dave 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.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he was saddened to learn of the demise of the minister.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also expressed grief over the demise of Dave.
BJP president Amit Shah said Dave's contribution to Indian politics and environment conservation was incredible.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condoled the death of Union Environment Minister Anil Dave.
"Saddened by the sudden passing of Union Minister Anil Dave Ji. Condolences to his family, friends and colleagues", she said in a tweet.
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.