Tamil Nadu Congress Committee Working President and MP from Kanyakumari H Vasanthakumar, who had tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month, died on Friday. He was 70. He was the founder of Vasanth & Co, a successful chain of consumer electronics and home appliances stores.

Vasanthakumar was admitted to Chennai’s Apollo Hospitals on August 10. “He was treated in Critical Care Unit for severe Covid pneumonia,” the hospital said in a statement. “Despite all active medical measures, his condition deteriorated gradually due to Covid complication and passed away today.”

The first time MP from Tamil Nadu, also a two-time MLA, defeated former Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Vasanthakumar is also the younger brother of former Tamil Nadu Congress Committee President Kumari Anandan. Anandan’s daughter and Vasanthakumar’s niece is BJP leader Tamilisai Soundararajan.

The Congress expressed its condolences. “A staunch Congressman, true leader of the people and beloved MP,” the party said in a tweet. “He will be sorely missed by all members of the Congress party and his followers. Our prayers are with his family in this time of grief.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also expressed their grief. “Saddened by the demise of Lok Sabha MP Shri H Vasanthakumar Ji,” the prime minister tweeted. “His strides in business and social service efforts were noteworthy. During my interactions with him, I always saw his passion towards Tamil Nadu’s progress. Condolences to his family and supporters.”

Gandhi said the MP’s commitment to the Congress ideology of serving people will remain in their hearts forever. “Heartfelt condolences to his friends and family members,” he added.

In June, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam legislator J Anbazhagan died after contracting the coronavirus.

Other Congress leaders also expressed their condolences: