Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minister Kamla Rani Varun died of the coronavirus in Lucknow on Sunday, PTI reported. She was 62.
Varun served as the minister of Technical Education and was an MLA from Ghatampur in Kanpur. She won the Lok Sabha elections from Ghatampur parliamentary constituency in 1996 and 1998, but lost in 1999 and 2004.
On July 18, the minister tested positive for the coronavirus and was admitted to the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Hospital. However, she was later shifted to the Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences and died during treatment. Varun was put on oxygen and ventilator support for the last few days, according to NDTV. “She also had comorbidities,” said Dr RK Dhiman, director of SGPGI. “She continued to deteriorate with hypotension, multiorgan dysfunction and succumbed to her illness today morning.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the minister played an important role in strengthening the Bharatiya Janata Party in the state. “Sad to hear about the death of Kamal Rani Varunji, minister in Uttar Pradesh government,” he tweeted. “Her entire life was devoted to social service. She played an important role in strengthening the BJP in the state. My condolences are with his family and supporters in this hour of grief.”
In his condolence message, Chief Minister Adityanath said Varun was an experienced and capable leader. “She discharged her responsibilities with competence,” he added. “She was a dedicated public representative, who was always working for the welfare of deprived and oppressed sections of the society.”
Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said the chief minister has cancelled his visit to Ayodhya city to review the preparations for the ground-breaking ceremony of the Ram temple on August 5.
President Ram Nath Kovind said that Varun was well respected for serving people at the grassroots. “Saddened by the untimely demise of Kamal Rani Varun, Cabinet minister in the Uttar Pradesh government,” he tweeted. “My condolences to her family and followers.”
Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel also conveyed her condolences to the family. “The sudden death of Kamal Rani is shocking,” she said. “She was very active during her stint as Member of Parliament in the 11th and 12th Lok Sabha. I express my deepest condolences to her family in this time of grief.”
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati also condoled the minister’s death. “The news of Uttar Pradesh Technical Education Minister Kamal Rani’s death due to corona infection today is very sad and also very worrying,” she tweeted. “In view of this sad death, both the Center and the state government need to be very serious in the matter of prevention of the rising outbreak of the coronavirus in UP.”
So far, Uttar Pradesh has recorded 89,068 coronavirus cases and 1,677 deaths. State capital Lucknow is the worst-hit due to the pandemic.