Karnataka Minister Umesh Katti Dies Of Cardiac Arrest, PM Modi Offers Condolences

Karnataka Minister Umesh Katti Dies Of Cardiac Arrest, PM Modi Offers Condolences

Karnataka Minister and an eight-time MLA from Hukkeri constituency, Umesh Katti, died due to cardiac arrest at a private hospital in Bengaluru on Tuesday night. Katti is survived by his wife, son and daughter. The 61-year-old was holding food, civil supplies & consumer affairs and forest portfolios for the ruling BJP government in Karnataka. The Bommai government declared one-day state mourning across the state on Wednesday as a mark of respect.

Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote, “Shri Umesh Katti Ji was an experienced leader who made rich contributions to Karnataka’s development. Pained by his demise. My thoughts are with his family and supporters in this tragic hour. Om Shanti.”

The state government in its official notification said that the last rites of the minister will be performed with full state honours. It has also declared a holiday to all schools and colleges, along with government offices in Belagavi district on Wednesday.

According to sources, Katti collapsed in the bathroom of his Dollar’s Colony residence in Bengaluru and was rushed to the hospital. Doctors said Katti had no pulse when he was brought in. His mortal remains will be taken by an air ambulance to his home district of Belagavi, from where it will be taken to Hira Sugar Factory in Sankeshwar for the public to pay their last respects.

The body will be later shifted to Katti’s native village of Belladbagewadi in Hukkeri taluk, where the last rites will be performed in the evening. During the day-long state mourning, no official entertainment programmes will be conducted and the national flag will be flown at half mast in all official buildings and places, the notification said.

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Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had on Tuesday night broke down remembering his long association with Katti, calling him a “close friend and brother”.

Katti, an eight-time MLA from the Hukkeri assembly constituency, entered politics following the demise of his father Vishwanath Katti in 1985. Before joining the BJP in 2008, Katti was with the Janata Party, Janata Dal, JD(U) and JD(S). He had earlier served as a minister in the Cabinet headed by JH Patel, BS Yediyurappa, DV Sadananda Gowda and Jagadish Shettar.

Katti was often in news for his statements demanding statehood for the north Karnataka region and also openly expressing his chief ministerial ambitions.

(With PTI inputs)