Newly elected Rajya Sabha member Ashok Gasti dies of COVID-19
Bengaluru: Newly elected Rajya Sabha member Ashok Gasti, who was admitted to a private hospital after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, died on Thursday night, the hospital said.
Fifty-five-year-old Gasti, who was admitted to Manipal Hospital on Old Airport Road on September 2 and diagnosed with severe COVID-19 pneumonia, passed away at 10.31 pm, hospital director Manish Rai said in a statement.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah condoled the demise of Gasti.
"Rajya Sabha MP Shri Ashok Gasti was a dedicated Karyakarta who worked hard to strengthen the Party in Karnataka. He was passionate about empowering the poor and marginalised sections of society. Anguished by his passing away. Condolences to his family and friends. Om Shanti," Modi tweeted.
According to Rai, Gasti was critically ill with multi-organ failure and was on life support system under constant observation of an expert panel of doctors.
"We deeply regret the loss and express our condolences to his family and friends," Rai said.
Gasti is survived by his wife and two daughters, BJP sources said.
A grassroots level worker hailing from Raichur, Gasti was elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha in June this year on a BJP ticket.
He was elected to Rajya Sabha on June 12, along with former Prime Minister and JD(S) candidate H D Deve Gowda, Congress candidate Mallikarjun Kharge and another BJP candidate Eranna Kadadi.
Coming from the backward community of Savita Samaj (barber community), Gasti had been an RSS worker and was an active member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.
Speaking to PTI after getting elected to Rajya Sabha, Gasti had said very few people from Savita Samaj rose to such political heights in Karnataka.
"It is heartening to see the works of ordinary party functionaries like me are getting recognised. This is the sign of New India envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Gasti had told PTI.
Condoling the demise of Gasti, Vice President Naidu said, "Deeply saddened to learn about the demise of Shri Ashok Gasti, Rajya Sabha Member. He was known for his simplicity and commitment for the upliftment of the downtrodden. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members. Om Shanti!"
Union Home Minister Shah tweeted," Shocked and pained by the untimely demise of Rajya Sabha MP and senior BJP leader from Karnataka, Shri Ashok Gasti ji."
Expressing his condolences, Shah said over the years, Gasti had served the organisation and nation in multiple roles.
State Congress president D K Shivakumar tweeted, "Deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing away of Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka Shri. Ashok Gasti. My condolences to his family and friends."
Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai too condoled the demise of Gasti.
Bommai tweeted, "Deeply saddened by the demise of Ashok Gasti due to coronavirus, who rose from an ordinary BJP worker to recently get elected to the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka. May God give strength to
the family to bear the loss and peace to his soul." PTI