Umesh Katti will be laid to rest with full state honours: CM Bommai

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Bengaluru: Last rites of Forest and Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Umesh Katti who died of a heart attack in a private hospital in Bengaluru on Tuesday, will be held with full state honours today.

In his death, the State has lost an active, co-operator and a good leader, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai told reporters after visiting the hospital to pay his last respect to the departed soul on Tuesday night.

The CM said the mortal remains of Katti will be taken in an air ambulance. From Belagavi, the body will be kept at Hira Sugar Factory in Sankeshwar for the public to pay their last respects till 2 pm. From there, the mortal remains will be shifted to his house in Bagewadi and conduct last rites at his farmhouse at 5 pm. Arrangements are made for the people to pay their last respects and they must co-operate with the government.

A committed leader

Bommai said Umesh Katti was his close brother and had an association with their family for around four decades. Umesh’s father, Vishwanath Katti had been closed with his father, S.R.Bommai. Vishwanath Katti had died while he was attending the State Legislative Assembly. At that time, Umesh Katti who was just 25 years, entered politics and got elected as MLA from Hukkeri. He had been elected as MLA from Hukkeri for the eighth consecutive times and became one of the senior leaders in the Assembly. He had special care for farmers and always worked for the welfare of people. He had worked as the Minister of State in the J.H.Patel Cabinet as Sugar, Prisons and PWD Minister; Horticulture and Agriculture Minister in B.S.Yediyurappa Cabinet. Katti had a special love and care for North-Karnataka.

CM said Katti was managing both Forest and Food Minister in the incumbent government. He had left his impression in any portfolio that he got. As food Minister, he stood firm to distribute jawar in North Karnataka and millet in South Karnataka through PDS, and also strove hard to get remunerative price for the agricultural crops. Katti had expertise in irrigation and played an important role in the implementation of Ghataprabha project. He had the ambition to develop Hidkal Dam on the lines of Almatti and Brindavan Gardens, and to develop the islands in backwaters of Hidkal Dam as tourist spots. He had congratulated him when this subject was okayed in the State Cabinet.

The CM said Katti was like an ‘Ajatha Shathru’ and would mingled with everyone. Politicians lack sense of humour but he had that quality and solve any complex problems with ease. It was very difficult to forget love and affection that was shared with him. Katti had a cordial relationship with J.H.Patel, Ramakrishna Hegde, S.R.Bommai, H.D.Deve Gowda and Yediyurappa. He was a good co-operator and had worked as chairman of various co-operation institutions. The district of Belagavi has lost a senior co-operator. The voice of North Karnataka has stopped, he added.

Bommai said he will pray God to give strength to his family members to bear the loss.

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