Former Karnataka CM Bangarappa passes away

Bangalore: Former Karnataka Chief Minister Sarekoppa Bangarappa died early this morning at a private hospital following a brief illness, family sources said here. Bangarappa (79) is survived by wife, two sons and three daughters.

Bangarappa, who was suffering from kidney related problems and a diabetic, was undergoing treatment since December seven. He breathed his last at about 0045 hrs, sources said. Bangarappa had recently joined JDS headed by former prime minister H D Devegowda.

Born on October 26, 1932, Bangarappa entered politics in 1967 when he was elected to the state assembly and served the late Devaraj Urs ministry in 1972. Baptised into politics as a Socialist, he was a known party hopper who had quit Congress several times only to rejoin it, besides floating his own outfits and joining Samajwadi Party and BJP in between.

Bangarappa had played a key role in installing the first ever non-Congress government in Karnataka in 1983 when his outfit Karnataka Kranti Ranga supported the then Janata Party government headed by late Ramakrishna Hegde.

He was the Chief Minister between 1990-92 and after he was removed from the post, he floated Karnataka Congress Party which contested the 1994 assembly elections and won 10 seats.

Bangarappa, who has left his own imprints in state politics, was on the national political stage as a Lok Sabha member for three terms in 1996, 1999 and 2003. He was also with the Samajwadi Party.

A highly respected leader among backward classes, Bangarappa had, however, lost the 1998 parliamentary polls to BJP`s Ayanur Manjunath.

His worst times in political arena came in 2009, when Bangarappa was defeated by B Y Raghavendra, son of former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa in Shimoga parliamentary seat and also in the assembly election held in 2008 at the hands of Yeddyurappa in Shikaripura constituency.

Bangarappa also spent three years in BJP and won as an MP on its ticket in 1996 and 1999. His body is being taken to his native village Kabatur where last rites would be performed on Tuesday, according to family sources.

Kumara Bangarappa, Bangarappa`s eldest son, is an actor and also a former minister. His another son Madhu Bangarappa is involved in the film industry.