Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) working president R. Dhruvanarayan, 61, passed away here on Saturday.
Mr. Dhruvanarayan, who was MLA for two terms and also a two-term MP, died after complaining of chest pain. He was taken to a private hospital where he was declared dead after the cardio-pulmonary resuscitation process failed to revive him.
Mr. Dhruvanarayan’s death came as a shock to a large number of partymen and followers in several parts of the State, particularly in Chamarajanagar and Mysuru districts.
Leaders cutting across party lines as well as the general public from both the districts and other places made a beeline for his residence in Vijayanagar here soon after learning about his demise. The police had a tough time controlling the surging crowds while a number of his followers turned emotional. Mr. Dhruvanarayan leaves behind his wife Veena and sons Dheeran and Darshan.
His last rites will be performed at his native Heggavadi in Chamarajanagar at 2 p.m. on Sunday, according to family sources.
Minister for Housing V. Somanna, who is also Minister in charge of Chamarajanagar district, said the last rites of Mr. Dhruvanarayan would be performed with state honours.
Mr. Dhruvanarayan, who was among the frontline leaders of the Congress in the State, was an aspirant for the party ticket from Nanjangud (reserved) Assembly segment in Mysuru district.
He was touring various parts of the constituency and participating in the party programmes on Friday, said party sources.
All-India Congress Committee (AICC) president M. Mallikarjun Kharge; former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah; KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar; and AICC general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala were among senior Congress leaders who visited the residence of Mr. Dhruvanarayan to pay their last respects.
Chamarajanagar MP and former Minister and V. Srinivas Prasad; Mysuru MP Pratap Simha; former Minister H.C. Mahadevappa and scores of political personalities from across the political spectrum turned up at Mr. Dhruvanarayan’s residence after learning about his death.
Congress leader Sonia Gandhi too made a telephonic call and conveyed her condolences to Mr. Dhruvanarayan’s family. “Throughout his political career, Shri Dhruvanarayan was most loyal, sincere and hardworking Congress worker, who served the party and the State with dedication, ever-ready to attend to the issues of the people. The Congress party will always honour his memory and remember his many contributions with deep gratitude. At this time of grief, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May his soul rest in peace,” said Ms. Gandhi in a letter to his wife Veena.
Mr. Dhruvanarayan’s body was taken to the Congress office later in the evening and kept for public viewing.