Lucknow: UP’s Minister for Technical Education Kamal Rani Varun succumbed to COVID-19 on Sunday at the Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences here. Kamal Rani is the first minister in Uttar Pradesh to die after contracting coronavirus. She 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 Institute.
UP 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 society.”
Currently, Kamal Rani was the MLA from Ghatampur in Kanpur. In the past, she was also a Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha twice.
Chief Minister Adityanath cancelled his visit to Ayodhya scheduled for the day, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said on Sunday.
Speaker of the state Legislative Assembly Hriday Narayan Dixit also condoled the Minister’s death.
Born on May 3, 1958, Kamal Rani was among the 18 members inducted in the council of ministers headed by 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.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued here on Sunday, Principal Secretary Jitendra Kumar said, “The national flag will be flown at half-mast in the state capital, and in the district on the day of cremation.”