"Tragic End": Karnataka Leaders Condole Cafe Coffee Day Owner's Death

Former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said the state had "lost a great businessman".

'Tragic End': Karnataka Leaders Condole Cafe Coffee Day Owner's Death

VG Siddhartha's body was found today 36 hours after he went missing.

Bengaluru:

Cafe Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha, the son-in-law of former Karnataka Chief Minister SM Krishna, was found dead this morning more than 36 hours after he went missing from a bridge near Mangaluru in Karnataka. His body had washed ashore the Netravati river near Ullal in Mangaluru.

Soon after the news of his death broke, political leaders in Karnataka condoled the founder's death on Twitter.

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa tweeted his condolence in Kannada.  "The death of former chief minister Shri SM Krishna's son-in-law Cafe Coffee Day founder and businessman Siddhartha has been a traumatic event. May the Lord have mercy on his family. May his soul find peace. #OmShanti," he wrote.

Former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said the state had "lost a great businessman".

"I am shocked to hear the news of the death of businessman and close friend Siddhartha. Siddhartha, a friend of the last 25 years, had introduced Karnataka's coffee industry to the world. Thousands of employees were accommodated in their organizations. With his death Karnataka has lost a great businessman," he tweeted in Kannada.

Dr. G Parameshwara, who was the deputy chief minister in the HD Kumaraswamy government that collapsed last week, wrote: "The news is unthinkable. My deepest condolences to Shri SM Krishna and other family members that #VGSiddhartha has left behind. This is a huge loss to our entrepreneurial fraternity! His dream #CafeCoffeeDay will live with us forever."

BJP leader Shobha Karandlaje said it was a "tragic end". "A tragic end to the coffee King #VGsiddartha is really disappointing. My heart goes out to the family, friends & his well-wishers. He'll forever live in the heart & minds of thousands. Indeed a great loss to country #OmShanthi (sic)," she wrote.

Congress leader Siddaramaiah also remembered the CCD boss in a tweet this morning. "Very sad to know about the unfortunate death of Shri. V G Siddhartha. His contribution to Karnataka & India through his entrepreneurship shall be an example & always be remembered. My deepest condolences to Shri. S M Krishna and family members & well-wishers of Siddhartha," he tweeted.

Days before he went missing, Mr Siddhartha, 60, had reportedly written a letter to board members and employees of Cafe Coffee Day. The letter - accessed by news agency ANI - alleges harassment by an income tax officer and expresses regret for not being able to create "the right profitable business".

He also said that he was under "tremendous pressure" from one of "the private equity partners".

The Income Tax Department on Tuesday denied charges of harassment during its probe against Mr Siddhartha as it pointed out that his available signature was different from that on a letter being circulated on social media.

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