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Karnataka Congress MLA Siddu Bhimappa Nyamagouda dies in road accident

Former union minister and newly-elected Congress MLA Siddu Bhimappa Nyamagouda died in a road accident early on Monday. He was returning from Goa when the tyre of the car he was travelling in burst and rammed into a concrete divider.

india Updated: May 28, 2018 23:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Karnataka,Congress,Siddu Bhimappa Nyamagouda
In the Karnataka assembly elections this month, Siddu Bhimappa Nyamagouda defeated BJP’s Shrikant Subrao Kulkarni to be re-elected from Jamkhandi.(Reuters/Photo for representation)

Former union minister and newly-elected Congress MLA Siddu Bhimappa Nyamagouda died in a road accident in Bagalkote district early on Monday, a senior police official said.

Nyamagouda, 68, was returning from Goa and was on the way to his constituency Jamkhandi when the tyre of the car he was travelling in burst and rammed into the concrete divider at Tulasigeri and died on the spot.

The former union minister in the PV Narasimha Rao government is survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi expressed shock over the legislator’s death and lauded his contribution to farmers’ causes.

“I am shocked to hear about the demise of Karnataka MLA, Shri Siddu Nyamagouda in a tragic accident. A popular leader, he played a major role in erecting a farmer’s barrage across the Krishna River at Padasalagi. My thoughts & prayers are with his family in their time of grief,” he tweeted.

Nyamagouda, political debut began in 1991, when the Congress pitted him against Karnataka’s former chief minister and one of the state’s most charismatic politicians, Ramakrishna Hegde, in the Lok Sabha elections from Bagalakote (then Bijapur South). Hegde was contesting on a Janata Dal ticket.

Despite being a political newbie, Nyamagouda had made a name for himself as a farmer’s leader in Bagalakote. Although the three major rivers — Malaprabha, Ghataprabha and Krishna — flowed through it, the district was perennially parched for irrigation and, even, drinking water facilities.

This made villagers rally around and contribute monetary and with labour, when Nyamagouda decided that instead of waiting for the government to wake up and take note of the problem, he should lead the construction of a barrage across Krishna. This helped irrigate thousands of acres of land and alleviate the drinking water crisis, earning him the nickname ‘Barrage’ Gouda.

In a surprise outcome aided by the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi leading to a sympathy wave for Congress, Hegde was defeated by the political upstart. As a result, Nyamagouda was allocated the coal portfolio in the new government that came to power.

In the assembly elections this month, Nyamagouda defeated BJP’s Shrikant Subrao Kulkarni to be re-elected from Jamkhandi.

First Published: May 28, 2018 23:44 IST