Former Karnataka Chief Minister Bangarappa dies

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Bangalore:  Former Karnataka Chief Minister Sarekoppa Bangarappa died early this morning at a private hospital in Bangalore following a brief illness, family sources said.

Mr Bangarappa (79) is survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters.

The septuagenarian, who was suffering from kidney related problems and was a diabetic, was undergoing treatment since December 7. He breathed his last at about 00:45 am, sources said.

Bangarappa had recently joined the JDS headed by former Prime Minister HD Devegowda.

Born on October 26, 1932, Bangarappa entered politics in 1967 when he was elected to the state assembly and served in the late Devaraj Urs ministry in 1972.

Baptised into politics as a Socialist, he was a known party hopper who had quit the Congress several times only to rejoin it, besides floating his own outfits and joining the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (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 the Karnataka Congress Party which contested the 1994 assembly elections and won 10 seats.

Bangarappa, who has left his own imprint in state politics, was a Lok Sabha member for three terms in 1996, 1999 and 2003.

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

His worst phase in the political arena came in 2009, when he was defeated by B Y Raghavendra, son of former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa in the Shimoga parliamentary seat. In the 2008 assembly elections, he had lost to Yeddyurappa in the 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 village Kabatur where last rites would be performed tomorrow, according to family sources.

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

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