Karnataka minister VS Acharya passes away

Karnataka Higher Education Minister VS Acharya died here on Tuesday following a massive heart attack.

Bangalore: Senior BJP leader and Higher
Education Minister VS Acharya passed away after a massive
heart attack during a function here on Tuesday.

Seventy-two-year-old Acharya, who was not keeping well for
some time, collapsed while participating at a seminar,
organised by the Karnataka State Government College Principals
Forum, and was rushed to Mallige Medical Centre, where he was
declared dead.

One of the senior-most figures of the ruling BJP,
soft-spoken Acharya, a medical practitioner by profession, was
respected by politicians cutting across party lines. He is
survived by wife, four sons and a daughter.

A member of the state Legislative Council, Acharya, born
on July six, 1939 in the coastal town of Udupi, also held the
portfolios of Planning and Statistics, Muzrai, Information
Technology and Biotechnology.

He earlier also served as Home Minister, state BJP
vice-president and Udupi district BJP President.

The Cabinet held an emergency meeting and condoled the
death, expressing profound grief.

Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda, who appeared visibly
shaken by Acharya`s death, described him as his "political
guru", and a "spotless" leader.

Fighting back tears, he said, "He is no more with us
today. But somehow, he (Acharya) will have to continue to
guide us....I don`t know in which form or through whom....
otherwise politics in Karnataka will not emerge in a good

BJP President Nitin Gadkari and party stalwart LK
Advani, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman K Rehman Khan, Union
Ministers SM Krishna and M Veerappa Moily were among those
who paid rich tributes to Acharya.

BJP said Acharya was instrumental in bringing the
erstwhile Jana Sangh to power in Udupi Municipality in 1968,
laying the foundation for the party rule in south (Karnataka).

The government declared a three-day mourning and a day`s
holiday today in Bangalore Urban, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi
districts as mark of respect to Acharya.