Bangalore: Former CM Bangarappa No More
Bangalore, Dec 26 (IANS): Former Karnataka chief minister Sarekoppa Bangarappa died here Monday in a private hospital where he was being treated for kidney-related problems, his family members said. He was 79.
He is survived by his wife, two sons, both of whom are active in politics as well as Kannada film world, and three daughters.
Top political leaders in the state including chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda, JD(S) chief Deve Gowda and his son Kumaraswamy, state BJP president Eshwarappa, Sandalwood stars Shivrajkumar and others paid last respects.
In his 44-year political career, Bangarappa was in the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Samajwadi Party and Janata Dal-Secular (JD(S)) and twice floated his own outfits.
The state government declared a three-day mourning for one of the most colourful politicians of Karnataka, whom his followers called 'Solilllada Saradara' -- a leader who cannot be defeated -- but was dubbed by his critics as a party-hopper.
Bangarappa hailed from Shimoga district, about 300 km from Bangalore
Born Oct 26, 1932 in Kubatur village in Shimoga, Bangarappa was known for his Socialist leanings. He started his political career in 1967 when he was elected to the state assembly and became a minister in the cabinet of then chief minister Devaraj Urs.
He was the chief minister 1990-92 and floated Karnataka Congress Party after he was removed due to infighting in the party.
Bangarappa was also a Lok Sabha member for four terms in 1996, 1999, 2003 (BJP) and 2005 (SP).
His political career was on the decline since his defeat in the 2009 Lok Sabha election by the BJP's B.Y. Raghavendra, son of former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa in Shimoga.
In 2008, Yeddyurappa defeated Bangarappa in the assembly election in Shikaripura constituency, also in Shimoga. Bangarappa had contested both elections as a Congress candidate.
He joined JD(S) in December last year.
His last rites will be conducted Tuesday in his native village Kabatur, family members said.