On Thursday, reports emerged about newly-elected Rajya Sabha MP Ashok Gasti losing battle with COVID-19. The 55-year-old had tested positive for the virus on September 2nd. However, the hospital has clarified that he is in a critical condition and is still alive.
Ashok Gasti was a politician and lawyer, and had worked with BJP's OBC cell. Many Indian leaders have been mourning the loss through the day.
The claim: Ashok Gasti dies due to COVID-19
BJP politician Ashok Gasti was reported to have passed away on Thursday in Bengaluru. He was admitted to Manipal hospital on September 2nd. The politician had taken his oath as a Rajya Sabha MP on July 22nd this year. According to local media reports, the politician was in critical condition in the past few days after facing breathing issues and had comorbidities.
However, the news arrived on Thursday afternoon that the politician had succumbed to COVID-19. Many of the nation's leaders including Vice President Venkaiah Naidu offered his condolences following the news of his demise. Many politicians have been mourning the loss of the politician, but many BJP leaders have since deleted their tweets.
Verifying the claim
The media following the tweets and the online discussion on the politician's death began picking up the story. Moreover, many reports said that Health minister B Sriramulu had announced the news.
As the news caught on, later, the Manipal Hospital said in a statement, "Ashok Gasthi, Member of Parliament from Rajya Sabha, was admitted with severe COVID-19 pneumonia at Manipal Hospitals, Old Airport Road. He is critically ill with multi-organ failure on life support system in the Intensive care unit."
Further putting these claims of 'death' to rest the BJP party clarified in a tweet that the politician was in a critical condition, "There are some reports circulating about the health of Shri Ashok Gasti, a member of the state assembly. Let them pray to the Lord that they are being treated in a hospital and their condition is serious and that they recover and be healthy."
Ashok Gasti is known for having organised BJP in Raichur, Karnataka and has served as the general secretary of BJP's OBC cell as well.
Ashok Gasti dies due to COVID-19