Anil Madhav Dave
Anil Madhav Dave, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment, Forest and Climate Change.Press Information Bureau

Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave passed away of cardiac arrest on Thursday, May 18, at the age of 61. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several of his Cabinet colleagues condoled his death on Twitter. Social media platforms saw an outpouring of grief after the news became public. 

Dave, an RSS man from the beginning, was chosen as Minister of State (Independent Charge)
for Environment, Forest and Climate Change by Narendra Modi in June 2016 after the BJP-led NDA government came to power in 2014. Union Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan will hold charge of Dave's portfolio after his passing. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on learning of his death, immediately took to Twitter to say: "Absolutely shocked by the sudden demise of my friend & a very respected colleague, Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave ji. My condolences. [sic]"

He added in subsequent tweets: "I was with Anil Madhav Dave ji till late last evening, discussing key policy issues. This demise is a personal loss. Anil Madhav Dave ji will be remembered as a devoted public servant. He was tremendously passionate towards conserving the environment."

Even Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu took to Twitter to express his condolences. He said: "Deeply shocked and saddened at the sudden demise of my dear colleague, Anil Madhav Dave ji. My sincere condolences."

Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari followed suit, saying on Twitter: "Shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden demise of our colleague Anil Madhav Dave ji. My heartfelt condolences to his family [sic]."

Union Minister for Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation and Information & Broadcasting Venkaiah Naidu said: "Shocked and extremely sad to know the sudden demise of my colleague Sri Anil Madhav Dave ,Environment Minister.My heartfelt condolences. [sic]"

Who was Anil Madhav Dave?

Born on July 6, 1956, at Badnagar in Madhya Pradesh, Dave would go on to get a post graduate degree in commerce before representing his state in the Rajya Sabha. He was elected to the Upper House of Parliament in 2010. 

An author of books like Amarkantak To Amarkantak and Beyond Copenhagen, Dave championed several environmental causes, like the reduction of asbestos use in construction across the country.