Deodurg MLA laid to rest with State honours

Thousands of people participated in the funeral procession of MLA Venkatesh Naik at Arakera village in Deodurg taluk, Raichur district, on Monday. PHOTO: SANTOSH SAGAR   | Photo Credit: SANTOSH SAGAR

Veteran Congress leader and MLA of Deodurg constituency in Raichur district, Karnataka, A. Venkatesh Naik (79), who died in a rail accident near Penukonda in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh, at about 2.30 a.m. on Monday, was laid to rest with State honours at his native place in Deodurg taluk. As per the customs of his community, his mortal remains were buried in his land at Juttalamaradi village at 6.30 p.m. He is survived by wife, two sons and three daughters.

Venkatesh Naik’s eldest son and Raichur Lok Sabha member B.V. Naik, along with his younger brother and president of Raichur District Central Cooperative Bank Rajashekhar Naik, performed the final rites. His grandson K. Shivanagowda Naik and other family members were present.

Ministers Sharan Prakash Patil and Shivaraj Tangadagi, Koppal Lok Sabha member Sanganna Karadi, MLAs Shivaraj Patil, Hampanagowda Badarli, Hampayya Naik, Manappa Vajjal, Raja Venkatappa Naik, A.B. Malaka Reddy, MLCs N.S. Boseraju and Halappa Achar, Tungabhadra Command Area Development Authority chairman A. Vasanth Kumar, Deputy Commissioner S. Sasikanth Senthil and Superintendent of Police Chetan Singh Rathor were among the dignitaries who participated in the funeral.

Earlier, the mortal remains of the leader were kept at the Congress party office in Raichur for half an hour and then at his home at Arakera in Deodurg taluk for two-and-a-half hours, for the public to pay their last respect. Over 10,000 people participated in the funeral procession.

Born on June 6, 1936, Venkatesh Naik entered politics through the Congress in 1968 in the local body elections. He was Gram Panchayat president twice, APMC director and Zilla Parishat member before entering national politics through the 1991 Lok Sabha polls. He represented Raichur constituency in the Lok Sabha for four times, in 1991, 1998, 1999 and 2004. He had lost the constituency to Raja Rangappa Naik of Janata Dal in 1996.

In a bitter electoral battle in the 2013 Assembly polls, Venkatesh Naik defeated his grandson K. Shivanagowda Naik, who had contested on the BJP ticket in Deodurg constituency, by a margin of 3,700 votes. He had also played an instrumental role in earning a thin-margin victory for his son and Congress candidate B.V. Naik against his grandson and BJP candidate K. Shivanagowda Naik in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in Raichur constituency.

Earlier, he had served Deodurg taluk Congress Committee president for two terms and Raichur District Congress Committee for one term.

Venkatesh Naik tasted defeat twice in his political career: in the 1996 Lok Sabha polls against Raja Rangappa Naik of Janata Dal and in the 2008 Assembly polls against K. Shivanagowda Naik who was then in the Janata Dal (Secular). He was denied the Congress ticket in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and the Congress candidate Raja Venkatappa Naik was defeated by the BJP candidate Sanna Pakkirappa in the election.

“Venkatesh Naik was a literary enthusiast and had deeply studied Jaimini Bharata, a version of Hindu epic Mahabharata, authored by noted Kannada poet of 16 century, Lakshmisa. He spoke less and did more,” Bheemanagowda Itagi, a long-time associate of Venkatesh Naik, recalled.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 9:34:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/deodurg-mla-laid-to-rest-with-state-honours/article7575568.ece

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