Veteran Congress leader Veerendra Patil, who was noted for his administrative acumen as former Karnataka Chief Minister, died in a city hospital early yesterday morning after a brief illness. He was 73.
Patil is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters.
Patil, a diabetic, slipped into coma and continued on an alternate respiratory system.
He also suffered kidney failure and was kept in the intensive care unit at the Apollo Mallya hospital, where he was admitted on March 9.
Patil twice headed the state government, first time when he was only 44. A combined opposition candidate against Indira Gandhi in the famous Chickmagalur Lok Sabha byelection in 1978, he joined her party two years later and was inducted in the Union ministry.
Patils body was brought to his residence at Sadashivnagar Extension to allow the people to pay their last respects. The body will be flown to Chincholi, his home town in Gulbarga district, for last rites today.
The Karnataka government declared a holiday yesterday as a mark of respect to the departed leader.
The state government also declared a three-day mourning as a mark of respect.
Thousands of mourners led by Chief Minister J H Patel paid homage to Patil.
Former Vice-President B D Jatti and former Chief Minister Rama Krishna Hegde were among the prominent personalities who paid their last respects.
The Karnataka cabinet, presided over by Patel, held a meeting to express grief over Patils demise.
The cabinet decided to postpone the presentation of the states budget for 1997-98 to March 18 from March 17, when only a resolution to condole the death would be taken up by both the Houses of the state legislature.