Bangalore, February 14: Karnataka Higher Education Minister and BJP veteran V S Acharya passed away in Bangalore on Tuesday following a massive heart attack. He was 71.
Dr. Acharya, who arrived from Udupi on Tuesday morning, reached Government Science College on Nrupathunga Road in Bangalore, where he was scheduled to participate in a seminar. As he was walking towards the stage, Dr. Acharya collapsed, and was taken to a hospital.
He had been keeping indifferent health for the last few months, prompting media speculation that he would be stepping down.
Acharya’s mortal remains were kept in official residence on the Racecourse road for a couple of hours for public viewing, before it was flown to Mangalore Airport. He is expected to be cremated in the evening at Beedinagudde.
"He (Acharya) is no more with us", Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, said as he rushed to the Hospital to pay his last respects.
A member of the Legislative Council, he also held the portfolios of Planning and Statistics, Information Technology and Biotechnology.
A registered medical practitioner, Acharya, born on July 6, 1940, started his political career in the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sangh and was President of Udupi city Municipality from 1968 to 1976.
Acharya had served as Home Minister in the B S Yeddyurappa ministry.
The Karnataka government declared three-day mourning as a mark of respect to Acharya and also a day's holiday today in Bangalore, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts (Acharya represented Uudpi constituency).
Acharya, a senior state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, leaves behind his wife, four sons and a daughter.
Acharya, a medical doctor, hailed from coastal district of Udupi. He had been jailed for 19 months during the 1975-77 internal emergency imposed by then prime minister Indira Gandhi.n the past.
Dr Acharya was the senior most minister in D V Sadanada Gowda government. Formerly he had served as minister of medical education and animal husbandry in the BJP-JDS coalition government.
He is a native of Udupi and a physician by profession. His father was Katte Vyasa Acharya, a Sanskrit scholar.
He started his political career in the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sangh (predecessor of Bharatiya Janata Party). He was elected as a municipal councillor, then as president in Udupi municipal council in 1968. This was the first ever win of elected body in South India by the Jan Sangh.
He was elected as a member of the Karnataka legislative assembly (M.L.A) in 1983. He had been a member of legislative council (M.L.C) of Karnataka state since 2002.
A PICTORIAL TRIBUTE TO Dr V S ACHARYA