A pall of gloom descended at 'Nadi Ka Ghar' (house of rivers), the residence of Union minister Anil Madhav Dave here, as the news of his sudden demise reached here this morning. The 60-year-old environment minister and two-time Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh passed away in Delhi this morning. As the news of his demise spread, his supporters started flocking 'Nadi Ka Ghar', the three-storey building set up by Dave from which he also used to run Narmada Samagra, an NGO for conserving river Narmada, the lifeline of Madhya Pradesh. Born on July 6, 1956 at Barnagar in Madhya Pradesh's Ujjain district, Dave used to live in this house whenever he was in Bhopal. A master strategist, Dave was credited with bringing the BJP to power in Madhya Pradesh in 2003 by running a successful campaign against the then Congress Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan described Dave as a true party worker, as he remembered his long-time BJP colleague. "Anil Dave was a true BJP worker. He has served the country with dedication for his whole life," Chouhan said in a tweet. "The country has lost a true patriot and son of Maa Narmada.
It is an irreparable loss," Chouhan said. Congress's chief whip in Lok Sabha, Jyotiraditya Scindia said the state has lost an excellent environmentalist and a simple and honest leader in the death of Dave. State BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan described Dave as a nationalist thinker, an able organiser and an environmentalist. It is an irreparable loss to the nation and the BJP, he said. Dave had made immense contribution to politics and environment by associating himself with public causes, MP's Public Relations minister Narottam Mishra recalled. BJP's state vice president Vijesh Lunawat, who was very close to Dave, said the leader had made an unparallelled contribution to the party. Dave was a "university" himself in environment conservation, election management and developing a dedicated work force for the party, he said. Dave's mortal remains will be brought to the state BJP headquarters here in the evening to enable the people and party workers to pay their respects. The leader's last rites will be performed at Bandrabhan, a place close to his heart, on the banks of Narmada river in Hoshangabad district tomorrow morning, state BJP's media in- charge Lokendra Parashar said. Dave used to organise the international river festival at Bandrabhan to create awareness among people about conserving rivers. Meanwhile, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar expressed shock over Dave's sudden demise. "Shocked & saddened by untimely demise of Shri Anil Dave. India has lost a promising leader who had immense concern for our environment," Parrikar tweeted.
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