The former Chief Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader Sarekoppa Bangarappa (79) died here early on Monday at a private hospital. Family sources said he was in the hospital over the last fortnight.
He is survived by wife, Shakuntala, sons, Kumar Bangarappa and Madhu Bangarappa, and three daughters. Mr. Kumar Bangarappa is an actor and former Minister. One of his sons-in-law is actor Shivaraj Kumar.
Those who paid their last respects included Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, Union Minister for Labour and Employment M. Mallikarjun Kharge, Union Law Minister Salman Khursheed, the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, and the former Chief Ministers H.D. Kumaraswamy and N. Dharam Singh.
Kannada film producer Parvathamma Rajkumar, actors Raghavendra Rajkumar and Bharati Vishnuvardhan, Ministers S. Suresh Kumar, Shobha Karandlaje, R. Ashok, V. Somanna and Basavaraj Bommai, the former Ministers D.K. Shivakumar and H.D. Revanna also visited the residence and paid their tributes.
The funeral, with full state honours, will be at Kubatur village in Sorab taluk on Tuesday, family sources said.
Born in 1932 at Kubatur village in Sorab taluk of Shimoga district, Mr. Bangarappa, who had a humble beginning, rose to become the Chief Minister in 1992, heading the Congress government. He held the post for two years before he was replaced by M. Veerappa Moily.
A three-time MP, Mr. Bangarappa was trained under Shantaveri Gopala Gowda and started his political career with the Praja Socialist Party.
He entered the Legislative Assembly 1967 and joined the Congress to be inducted into the D. Devaraj Urs Cabinet in 1976. During the course of his five-decade long political life, he had brief stints in Bharatiya Janata Party, Samajwadi Party and Janata Dal (Secular).
He had a penchant for floating political outfits, whenever his ego was hurt in the parties he served. He launched the Karnataka Congress Party, when he left the Congress after his removal from power and then the Karnataka Vikas Party in 1998. He also held the post of president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee in 1979.
Inspired by the Kagodu satyagraha, Mr. Bangarappa took the lead in implementing the land reforms in Shimoga district, thanks to the progressive policy of the Devaraj Urs Ministry.
A colourful personality, Mr. Bangarappa had a passion for sports and music. He was found playing shuttle badminton daily at the KGS Club even when he was Chief Minister.
He used to enthral his supporters and people in the rural areas by donning the dress of a Dollu Kunita artiste during festivals or when he was invited to functions.