The Karnataka government declared one-day state mourning across the state on Wednesday as a mark of respect on the passing away of Minister Umesh Katti, who died last night due to heart attack.
The state government in its official notification said that the last rites of the minister, who held the food, civil supplies and consumer affairs, and forest portfolios, 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. 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.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had on Tuesday night broke down remembering his long association with Katti, calling him a ”close friend and brother”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday paid tributes to minister Umesh Katti and tweeted, “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.”
Katti was an eight-time MLA from Hukkeri assembly constituency. He 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 J H Patel, B S Yediyurappa, D V 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.
Katti had died due to heart attack at a private hospital in Bengaluru on Tuesday night. He was 61.
According to sources, Katti collapsed in the bathroom of his Dollar’s Colony residence here and was rushed to the hospital. Doctors there 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 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.
Katti is survived by his wife, son and daughter.