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August 23, 2000
Kumaramangalam passes away
Union Power Minister P R Kumaramangalam died of acute myeloid leukemia, a kind of blood cancer, in the early hours on Wednesday. The end came after he battled for life for more than a week at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.
Kumaramangalam, 48, died at around 0440 IST. He is survived by his lawyer wife Kitty, a son and a daughter.
He was admitted to the AIIMS after suffering from persistent fever on August 12 and shifted to the intensive care unit on August 15 following multiple organ failure and severe septicaemia, an acute blood infection.
On August 19, AIIMS Medical Superintendent Dr R K Sharma revealed that the minister was suffering from 'acute myeloid leukemia with fulminary sepsis'. That was the first time a diagnosis on Kumaramangalam's illness was made known.
The minister remained in a critical condition with circulatory instability, disseminated intravascular coagulation and renal shutdown. He was on an artificial ventilator and circulatory support and dialysis.
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee expressed deep grief and shock over the death of his Cabinet colleague. "I am deeply grieved and shocked by the passing away of P R Kumaramangalam. The cruel hand of death has snatched away from our midst a young and dynamic national leader. For me, it is a personal loss -- that of a dear friend and colleague," he said in a statement.
"Rangarajan Kumaramangalam came from an illustrious family of nationalists. He joined active politics at a young age and soon made his mark as a lawyer and trade union leader. He was elected to Parliament thrice from Salem and twice from Thiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu. During his long parliamentary tenure, he held several portfolios, including law, justice and company affairs, science and technology, electronics, ocean development, parliamentary affairs and power."
"Whatever the nature of the assignment given to him, he fulfilled his responsibilities in a commendable manner. In his last assignment as Union power minister, Kumaramangalam, in a brief span of two years, gave a new thrust and direction to the country's power sector and helped launch a national movement on power sector reforms. His dedication and farsightedness enabled wide-ranging legislative changes to facilitate private sector participation in the power sector," the prime minister said.
"With a charming personality, bubbling enthusiasm and an ever-smiling face, Kumaramangalam was a dedicated worker of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which he had joined in 1998. But he had friends across the political spectrum. Rare was the person who would not praise him," Vajpayee said.
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