Karnataka BJP Rajya Sabha MP Ashok Gasti succumbs to coronavirus

Bengaluru, Sep 18 (IANS): Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) newly elected Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka Ashok Gasti succumbed to coronavirus at a private hospital in the city, an official said on Thursday night. He was 55.

"Gasti passed away at 10.31 p.m. He was critically ill with multi-organ failure on a life support system in the intensive care unit," Manipal Hospital director Manish Rai said in a statement here.

Gasti was elected unopposed to the Upper House on June 12 along with Iranna Kadadi of the BJP. He also took oath as a member of the Upper House on July 22 in Parliament house.

Gasti leaves behind his wife and a daughter.

The ruling party and its leaders, including a minister, however, declared Gasti "dead" and began mourning him since evening even as the hospital maintained that his condition was critical then.

An advocate by profession, Gasti hails from the barber community and belongs to Raichur district in the state's northern region, about 490 km away from Bengaluru.

Gasti, a law graduate, is the party's former Raichur district zilla parishad president.

Soon after the party's state unit tweeted in Kannada that Gasti died due to Covid, state Health Minister B.R. Sriramulu, party's Lok Sabha member from Chikkamagaluru, Shobha Karandalaje tweeted condolences messages.

"Even Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Union Home Minister Amit Shah condoled Gasti's 'death' through tweets," a party official said.

Terming Gasti's "death" unfortunate, Sriramulu tweeted in Kannada that someone who dreamt of doing social service has passed away untimely.

"May his soul rest in peace and may god give his family strength to bear the loss," said Sriramulu in his tweet.

In his tweet, Shah said: "Shocked and pained at the untimely demise of Rajya Sabha MP and senior BJP leader Ashok Gasti from Karnataka. Over the years, he served the organisation and the nation in multiple roles. My condolences are with his family in this hour of grief."

Naidu also tweeted that he was saddened to learn about the demise of Gasti.

"He was known for his simplicity and commitment for the upliftment of the downtrodden. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members," said Naidu, who is the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

Expressing shock on learning about the sudden "demise" of Gasti, Shobha said: "May the Almighty strengthen his family and friends to bear this loss. May his soul attain sadgati."






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