Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani attended the funeral of former Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha S. Mallikarjunaiah at Honsagere in Tumkur taluk on Friday afternoon.

Speaking to reporters, Mr. Advani recalled the days spent with Mallikarjunaiah at the Central Jail in Bangalore during the emergency.

He said he had visited Bangalore along with the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and others in 1975 to attend a Parliamentary Committee meeting. Following the declaration of emergency in India, they were arrested on the grounds that they were dangerous to the security of the State and sent to Central Jail. It was there that Mr. Advani had met Mallikarjunaiah.

Mr. Advani described Mallikarjunaiah as the most committed activist of the party, and said his death was a great loss.

Mr. Advani refused to talk about political issues, stating: “this is not the occasion to speak about it.”

BJP national general secretary Anant Kumar accompanied Mr. Advani. Law Minister T.B. Jayachandra, and G.S. Basavaraj, MP, were also among those present at the funeral. Mallikarjunaiah was buried after the rituals of the Veershaiva community were performed at Honsagere. After attending the funeral, Mr. Advani visited Siddaganga Math to seek the blessings of its seer.

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