COVID-19 claims life of veteran Gujarati film star


His contribution to field of entertainment, social service will always be remembered, says PM

Veteran Gujarati film star-turned-politician Naresh Kanodia died on Tuesday due to COVID-19 at a city-based hospital. He was a BJP MLA and had a massive following base in the State.

The 77-year-old died at the UN Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Centre where he was put on ventilator support after he was admitted on October 20. He had also undergone a bypass surgery.

His death came two days after his elder brother and leading Gujarati singer Mahesh Kanodia died at his residence in Gandhinagar after prolonged illness. Known as Naresh-Mahesh duo, they were the main faces in Gujarati movies in 1980s and 90s.

Mahesh Kanodia was also once parliamentarian from the Patan Lok Sabha seat and legislator from the BJP. The entire family has been associated with the ruling party. Mr. Naresh Kanodia’s son Hitesh is also a BJP legislator from north Gujarat.

The Kanodia brothers performed together in a number of stage shows in India and abroad.

Mr. Naresh Kanodia had worked in over 100 films in his career spanning several decades. He later joined politics and was elected a BJP MLA from the Karjan constituency between 2002 and 2007.

After the news of his demise became public, condolences started pouring in from all quarters. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter, “Saddened by the death of veteran actor and former MLA Naresh Kanodia. His contribution to the field of entertainment and social service will always be remembered. Condolences to family members and fans.

“In a span of two days, we have lost both Maheshbhai and Nareshbhai Kanodia. Their contributions to the world of culture, especially popularising Gujarati songs, music and theatre will never be forgotten. They also worked hard to serve society and empower the downtrodden.”

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani also posted his message on Twitter. “I am saddened by the sad demise of Gujarati film superstar and BJP leader Nareshbhai Kanodia. Gujarat will always feel the loss of an evergreen actor who won the hearts of Gujaratis by popularising Gujarati films through his leading performances.

“His invaluable contribution in social and art fields will inspire the new generation,” he said.

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