Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave passed away due to cardiac arrest on Thursday, May 18 at the age of 61. A member of the Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh, he was appointed in the cabinet by Modi previous year.
He was appointed as MoS (independent charge) of the Environment Ministry on July 5, 2016.
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. "This demise is a personal loss", the PM said. The 60-year-old environment minister and two-time Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh, Dave also used to organise the global river festival at Bandrabhan to create awareness among people about conserving rivers.
Dave was passionate about conservation of river Narmada - lifelines of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat - from his early days.
Prime Minister also added that he was with Anil Madhav Dave till late previous evening and were discussing important policy subjects.
According to reports, Dave had not been keeping well for the last few months.
He took charge of the Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge) ministry on July 6 previous year, during a reshuffle of the Narendra Modi cabinet. The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also expressed his shock over his demise.
He was founder of "Narmada Samagra", which works for the conservation of the river and its catchment area. He was deputed to the Bharatiya Janata Party before the Madhya Pradesh elections in 2003. "My condolences", Modi tweeted. Dave was known to be sensitive to issues pertaining to the environment.
Other political leaders have also expressed their grief on Twitter.
Dave was along time member of the RSS. Soon after this event, he was elevated as a minister in the Union Cabinet.
With the Narendra Modi and Amit Shah-led BJP making non-conventional choices as CM in states, Dave's name often came up as a possible replacement for Shivraj Singh Chouhan in MP - in case an opportunity arose.