Karnataka minister Umesh Katti died of a heart attack late on Tuesday night. He was 61 and was in charge of the forest, food, civil supplies and consumers affairs departments.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai condoled the minister’s death, saying it is a huge loss for the state.
According to sources, the minister felt chest pain at his Dollars Colony home and collapsed. He was then rushed to Ramaiah hospital, where he breathed his last.
Speaking to ANI, Mr Bommai called the minister a “brother” and said he did a lot of work for the state.
“I have lost a very close friend of mine. He was a brother to me. He had some heart issues, but we never thought he will pass away so soon. He has done a lot of work for the state. He handled several portfolios efficiently. It is a huge loss for the state. He has left a huge vacuum which is very difficult to fill up,” Mr Bommai said.
The Chief Minister said that the minister’s funeral would be performed with full state honours.
“His (Umesh Katti) body will be shifted by air ambulance. All procedures will be done after public viewing till 2 pm at Sankeshwara. The last rites will be performed with state honours at Bagewadi Belagavi. A holiday has been announced in schools and colleges today in Belagavi,” he told the media.
Ashwathnarayan CN, state minister for Higher Education, said Mr Katti was a “man of few words”. “He had cardiac issues. Because of the massive heart attack, he lost his life. He was a man of few words. He has always been a people’s man,” said Mr Ashwathnarayan.
Dr Aruna Ramesh, head of emergency services at Ramaiah Hospital, said the minister must have suffered a massive heart attack at home.
“He was brought in at 10.30 pm. He was unconscious, wasn’t breathing and did not have a pulse. As a routine, it is considered a cardiac arrest. Despite all our efforts, we could not revive him. At 11.40 pm, we declared him dead. Unfortunately, he must have had a massive heart attack at home. He already had a cardiac problem,” she said.