Ashok Gasti, a BJP Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka, has died of COVID-19, as a hospital confirmed on Thursday, hours after confusion caused by condolence tweets from top politicians.
The 55-year-old was critically ill and was admitted to Manipal Hospital.
Dr Manish Rai, the hospital̵
The hospital said the Rajya Sabha member was hospitalized with severe COVID-19 pneumonia and was critical after several organ failures. He was on life support in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Mr Gasti was from Raichur in northern Karnataka and was a former worker at the stand level.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Mr Gasti a “dedicated karyakartaand condoled his death on Twitter:
Rajya Sabha MP Shri Ashok Gasti was a devoted Karyakarta who worked hard to strengthen the party in Karnataka. He was passionate about empowering the poor and marginalized sections of society. Regretted his death. Condolences to his family and friends. About Shanti.
– Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 17, 2020
Following his indefinite election in June this year, Mr Gasti had not attended Parliament due to the pandemic. He was a first time Rajya Sabha member.
At the time of the appointment, Mr Gasti told NDTV: “This is a very happy event. A worker at the stand level has been recognized like this. This type of recognition is only possible in BJP. This has given a lot of enthusiasm to lakhs of BJP workers. I want to thank all the BJP leaders. “
Condolences began to pour in on Twitter after Mr Gasti’s death.
“Shocked and painful over the untimely death of Rajya Sabha MP and senior BJP leader from Karnataka, Shri Ashok Gasti ji. Over the years, he has served the organization and the nation in several roles. My deepest condolences are with his family in this hour of grief. About Shanti Shanti Shanti, “tweeted Amit Shah.
Vice President and Rajya Sabha President M Venkaiah Naidu expressed his sorrow and said that Mr Gasti was known “for his simplicity and his commitment to the exalted of the oppressed”.
Deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Shri Ashok Gastis, Rajya Sabha members. He was known for his simplicity and his commitment to the upliftment of the downtrodden. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members. About Shanti!
– Vice President of India (@VPSecretariat) 17 September 2020
Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar tweeted: “Deeply saddened to hear the news of Rajya Sabha’s Member of Parliament from Karnataka Shri. Ashok Gasti. My condolences to his family and friends.”
The leaders had tweeted earlier in the day as well but later deleted the tweets.