Thousands of people, including VIPs and common folks, bid a tearful adieu to Rakesh Siddaramaiah, elder son of Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, before his mortal remains were laid to rest in the family farmhouse at T. Katur, about 20 km from here."The last rites were performed at the farmhouse before sunset as per the 'Halumatha' tradition under the guidance of Niranjananda Puri swamiji in the presence of seers, priests, relatives and family members of Siddaramaiah amid tight security," an official told IANS here.Rakesh, 39, died of multiple-organ failure on Saturday at Antwerp University Hospital in Brussels, Belgium.Even before the cortege carrying Rakesh body arrived at the farmhouse from Mysuru in a convoy, accompanied by the Chief Minister and his family members, people gathered in large numbers around the farmhouse to have last glimpse of the departed soul.
"Public was not allowed inside the farmhouse for security reasons, privacy and to avoid inconvenience to the family members during the last rites," the official said.In the afternoon, it was a sea of humanity at the exhibition grounds in Mysuru where the flower-decked cortege was kept for paying last respects by the public.Thousands of people came from far and nearby towns and villages to pay homage to Rakesh. Many were seen grieving for the untimely death and loss of a young leader.Among the VIPs who offered floral tributes to Rakesh were state Governor Vajubhai Vala, Union Minister Sadananda Gowda, Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, former BJP Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, former JD-S Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, state cabinet ministers, lawmakers and leaders of political parties.
The cortege was brought here in a special aircraft from Bengaluru after it was flown from Brussels by an Emirates Airlines flight earlier in the day.Siddaramaiah, his wife Parvathi, their daughter-in-law and younger son Yathindra accompanied the cortege from Brussels.Holding back tears and with folded hands, an emotional Siddaramaiah stood by the cortege and expressed gratitude to all the people who came to the venue for paying respects to Rakesh and sharing his grief over the personal tragedy.Elaborate security arrangements were made by the district authorities to regulate the flow of mourners in thousands and prevent any untoward incident.Apart from people from Mysuru, Siddaramaiah's home city, hundreds of others from his Varuna village and Chamundeshwari, which he represents in the legislative assembly as the ruling Congress lawmaker, made a beeline for a last glimpse of Rakesh's body, which was kept on a raised dais for paying homage.