Uttar Pradesh’s cabinet minister for Technical Education Kamal Rani Varun succumbed to the coronavirus disease on Sunday. She was the first minister in Uttar Pradesh to die after contracting coronavirus. Kamal Rani was 62.
On July 18, the minister tested positive for coronavirus and was admitted to the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Hospital here. She was later shifted to the Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences.
Born on May 3, 1958, Kamal Rani was among the 18 members inducted in the council of ministers headed by chief minister Yogi Adityanath on August 21, 2019, the first such reshuffle since the BJP government came to power in March 2017.
Kamal Rani was the only woman cabinet minister in UP following Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s resignation after getting elected to the Lok Sabha.
She was elected to the 11th Lok Sabha in 1996. In 1998, she was re-elected to Parliament for a second term.
Kamal Rani had won from Ghatampur assembly seat in the 2017 assembly election. She secured 48.52 per cent of votes in the election, wresting the sea from Samajwadi Party.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the minister’s death.
In a condolence message issued here on Sunday, Adityanath said, “Kamal Rani Varun died on Sunday at around 9.30 am. She was an experienced and capable leader. She discharged her responsibilities with competence. She was a dedicated public representative, who was always working for the welfare of deprived and oppressed sections of the society.”
The chief minister cancelled his visit to Ayodhya scheduled for the day, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said.
Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel conveyed condolences to Kamal Rani’s family.
“The sudden death of Kamal Rani is shocking. 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,” Anandiben Patel said in a statement.