Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah loses son and heir, 'Chikka sahebru' Rakesh

Rakesh Siddaramaiah breathed his last following multiple-organ failure on Saturday.

Mysuru: Rakesh Siddaramaiah, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s elder son, known in his father’s inner circle as “Chikka Sahebru”, who was undergoing treatment for acute pancreatitis at Antwerp University Hospital, Brussels, breathed his last following multiple-organ failure on Saturday.

Rakesh, who turned 39 last week, in Brussels for a holiday after visiting his son in Germany, was rushed to a local hospital’s intensive care unit when he complained of acute stomach pain.

Mr Siddaramaiah, wife Parvathi, Rakesh’s wife Smitha and younger brother Dr Yathindra, rushed to Brussels earlier this week on hearing about Rakesh’s hospitalisation. Rakesh, who tried his hand at acting in Kannada movies, was projected as the political heir of Mr Siddaramaiah, and fondly referred to as “Chikka Sahebru” as he worked for his father’s victories in Assembly elections beginning 2004.

He took care of problems in Varuna, his father’s constituency, and worked for the success of candidates in recent local body elections in Mysuru district. A science graduate like his father, Rakesh was emotionally attached to Mr Siddaramaiah His younger sibling is a doctor. Rakesh’s last public comments were telecast by a local television channel while he was celebrating his birthday. “I will enter politics only after my father retires from politics. I will never sully the image of father,” he told the channel.

The CM’s office said Rakesh’s body would be flown to Mysuru Sunday evening, and laid to rest at Mr Siddaramaiah’s farm house at T. Katur village on Monday afternoon.

“A BSc graduate from Vijaya College, Rakesh took the political plunge during the 2003-2004 legislative assembly elections and worked for his father's victory. He was also instrumental in Mr Siddaramaiah’s victory in 2006 Assembly by-elections from Chamundeswari constituency, in 2008 assembly elections from Varuna Constituency, and in the 2013 elections," Mr Seetharam, a close friend of Mr Siddaramaiah said.

"Rakesh was a simple plain man, without ego, he was secular and treated everyone equally. He was innocent at heart and did not know what cheating was. He was very affectionate of party workers and people from Mysuru district especially,” said district Congress president B.J. Vijaykumar.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who reportedly directed the Indian mission at Brussels to help the Chief Minister’s family, tweeted: “My thoughts are with Siddaramaiahji and his family on the demise of his son.”

“May God give the family the strength to bear the irreparable loss." Congress president Sonia Gandhi called up Mr Siddaramaiah to console him, while party vice president Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “My heartfelt condolences to Siddaramaiahji on the passing away of his son. My thoughts &prayers are with his family in this time of grief.”

Janata Dal (S) patriarch, H.D. Deve Gowda, Mr Siddaramaiah's cabinet colleagues and opposition leaders condoled the sudden demise of Rakesh.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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