Braving the scorching heat in the morning and drizzles as day progressed, thousands of people, both men and women from across the state, thronged the Dasara Exhibition Grounds to catch the last glimpse of Rakesh Siddaramaiah’s body as it was kept for public viewing here on Monday.
The mortal remains of Rakesh reached the grounds in an open vehicle from Mandakalli Airport where it arrived in a special aircraft from Belgium via Bengaluru. The delay in the arrival of body by more than two hours, however, did not deter the crowd as it lined the roadway inside the grounds in anticipation. The body was supposed to arrive at 10:30 am but reached at 12:45 pm.
A sea of people, cutting across religions, castes and their political affiliations, started to walk in the grounds from 8 am. Elaborate security arrangements were made by the city police to handle the crowd which they had expected to be huge.
The body was still kept for public viewing when the paper went to press was scheduled to taken to the chief minister’s farmhouse in T Katoor where the last rites of the body will be performed around 5 pm.
While thousands, including top politicians, paid their respect at his funeral in the grounds, it seems, those who could not be in the city are using the hashtag to show their love for Rakesh and extending condolences to the chief minister Siddaramaiah and his family.
DMK leader and former chief minister of Tamil Nadu M Karunanidhi expressed shock over untimely death. “I have no words to adequately console you, your wife and the members of your family at this tragic and sad moment of grief. Please accept my condolences springing from the depth of my heart,” he stated.
When former Chief Ministers hug Siddaramaiah
It was indeed an act of humanness and the best way to console a person who was reeling under the immense pain of losing his son. Former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and Jagadish Shettar made it clear through hugs that political rivalry on one side and the humanity on the other. The duo consoled Siddaramaiah by hugging when the latter, immersed in tears, face swollen, perhaps because of continuous mourning, walked towards the body of Rakesh.
Police had tough time managing crowd
The city police which had put barricades to restrict the entry of people in the VIP area had a tough time managing people. The officials eventually had to let people in as people refused to budge despite many attempt from police. All people wanted was an entry to the area where Rakesh’s body was kept.