Senior BJP leader and Karnataka minister for higher education VS Acharya, 72, died on Tuesday in Bangalore.
Acharya, who was not keeping well for some time, had a heart attack during a seminar organised by the Karnataka College Principals Forum and was rushed to Mallige Medical Centre, where he was declared dead.
The government declared a three-day state mourning and a day’s holiday on Tuesday in Bangalore Urban, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts as a mark of respect to Acharya. The cabinet held an emergency meeting and condoled the death. Chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda described him as his “political guru”, and a “spotless” leader.
Condoling his death, the chief minister said, “He is my political guru. He did not have a single black-mark in politics. He was duty-conscious till the last minute.” Acharya, who is survived by his wife, four sons and a daughter, was a medical practitioner and a senior BJP leader respected by politicians cutting across party lines.
His body was carried to Udupi for the last rites. Senior BJP Leader LK Advani, Gowda former CM BS Yeddyurappa, Congress leaders Siddaramaiah, Dr Parameshwar, Union ministers SM Krishna and Veerappa Moily paid tributes to Acharya.
A member of the state legislative council, Acharya also served as state home minister, minister of medical education and animal husbandry, state BJP vice-president and Udupi district BJP president.