Rakesh Siddaramaiah who died in Belgium due to multiple-organ failure on Saturday was a known face in the Mysuru district and was seen as a political heir of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
Rakesh was working towards making his electoral debut in the upcoming assembly election due in 2018 and had already built a strong support base for himself across the communities.
“I have learnt a lot about politics from my father. He is my role model. I will only enter politics after my father retires. Until then, I will assist him in his campaigns,” Rakesh had told a Kannada news channel some time back.
However, Siddaramaiah was nurturing Rakesh and was keen on moving to Chamundeshwari constituency to make way for his son in Varuna constituency as Rakesh had made a good name in Varuna with his relentless efforts in nurturing the constituency.
Rakesh was assisting his father in political campaigns since 2006 when he first campaigned in Chamundeshwari bye-election in which Siddaramaiah won with a margin of 257 votes. Since then, Rakesh’s political campaigns for his father only intensified.
He was a leader in the making and attended to the people of Varuna constituency in the absence of his father. He was instrumental in setting up a college, laying roads and providing Internet connectivity in Siddaramanahundi.
Rakesh spent more time in Mysuru in the last couple of years. The last time he was seen in Mysuru was during the Iftar party hosted by Siddaramaiah on July 2.
WAS ON A HOLIDAY TRIP
39-year-old Rakesh Siddaramaiah was the eldest son of Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. He died at the Antwerp University Hospital, Belgium. He is survived by wife Smitha, son Dhyan (8) and daughter Thanmayee (5) studying in class six and three in Germany and staying with their maternal aunt.
Soon after celebrating his birthday on July 13, Rakesh was on a holiday trip with his friends at Tomorrowland, the world’s biggest electronic music festival in the Belgium town of Boom from July 22 to 24, where he complained of severe stomach pain. He was then rushed to the hospital on Tuesday where he was undergoing treatment.
Soon after Rakesh was hospitalised, CM Siddaramaiah, his wife and second son Dr Yathindra Siddaramaiah and the family doctor left for Brussels to be with Rakesh. His condition, it is learnt, was critical but stable before it worsened.
Rakesh had pancreatitis after suffering an injury to his pancreas in a near-fatal accident in 2001. The problem was recurrent with symptoms of severe epigastric pain and he was undergoing treatment for the same.
CONDOLENCES POUR IN
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences and has requested the Indian Ambassador to Belgium to assist Siddaramaiah’s family in carrying out the legal formalities in bringing the body back to India.
Meanwhile, as the news of Rakesh Siddaramaiah’s demise reached India, condolence started to pour in for father Siddaramaiah and family evoking reactions from public and political leaders.
“My thoughts are with Siddaramaiah ji and his family on the demise of his son. May God give the family strength to bear the irreparable loss,” PM Modi said in a tweet.
Union Minister DV Sadananda Gowda offered condolences and said that Siddaramaiah was his partner in grief as Gowda too had lost his elder son Kaushik Gowda in a road accident in Puttur in 2003. Gowda tweeted saying, “I am shocked at the sad demise of Sri Rakesh Son of @CMofKarnataka Sri Siddaramaiaha ji. No words to explain my feelings at this time”
Besides, Indian National Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi, BJP Karnataka president B S Yeddyurappa, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, former Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundu Rao, Indian cricket team coach Anil Kumble and other Congress and BJP leaders expressed condolences on their Twitter handles.