Congress MP from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, H Vasanthakumar died of COVID-19 at a hospital here on Friday, the party said.
The 70-year old first time MP, and working president of Tamil Nadu Congress Committee, who was admitted to the Apollo Hospitals on August 10 after he tested positive for coronavirus, succumbed to the illness, a party spokesperson told PTI.
Vasanthakumar is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter, he said.
Apollo Hospitals in a statement later said the MP was treated in a critical care unit for severe COVID pneumonia.
“Despite all active medical measures, his condition deteriorated gradually due to COVID complications and he passed away today,” the hospital said.
Vasanthakumar, a two-time MLA (2006-11 and 2016 -19) was elected to the Lok Sabha last year.
Born on April 14, 1950, Vasanthakumar Harikrishna Perumal is the brother of Tamil Nadu Congress veteran and noted Tamil litterateur Kumari Ananthan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami, Telangana governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, who is Vasanthakumar’s niece, Congress party leaders Rahul Gandhi, P Chidambaram and DMK president M K Stalin were among those who condoled the death.
Modi, on his twitter handle, said: “Saddened by the demise of Lok Sabha MP Shri H Vasanthakumar Ji.
His strides in business and social service efforts were noteworthy.
During my interactions with him, I always saw his passion for Tamil Nadu’s progress. Condolences to his family and supporters.Om Shanti.
Expressing grief, Palaniswami said, “Vasanthakumar who started his career as a salesman came up in life through his hard work.
He did excellent service for the educational and economic growth of the poor and earned the love of the people in his public life.”
Rahul Gandhi said “the news of Kanyakumari MP, Shri H Vasanthakumars untimely demise due to Covid-19 has come as a shock.
His commitment to the congress ideology of serving the people will remain in our hearts forever. Heartfelt condolences to his friends and family members.”
Expressing shock, Chidambaram and Stalin praised Vasanthakumar for his hard work.
Tamil Nadu Congress Committee President K S Alagiri, paying tributes, said a pillar of the state unit has fallen.
As a mark of respect, Alagiri announced week-long mourning, adding party flags will fly at half-mast and all party events are being canceled.
Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan, actor Rajinikanth, PMK and MDMK leaders S Ramadoss and Vaiko were also among those who condoled the death
Vasanthakumar is a successful entrepreneur.
His smiling face in advertisements for his retail chain selling consumer durables and electronics is very popular in Tamil Nadu.