Karnataka Legislative Council Deputy Chairman S L Dharme Gowda was found dead on a railway track in Karnataka’s Chikmagalur district early Tuesday morning. Police said they have found a suicide note near the body.
According to railway police, the JDS legislator’s body was found on a railway track near Gunasagara in Kadur taluk of Chikmagalur district, which is his hometown.
On Monday evening, Gowda had left his farmhouse in Sakkarayapattana village along with his driver in his personal car and did not return. His worried family started to search for him. Police found Gowda’s body in the early hours of Tuesday.
According to reports, a death note was found near his body, which referred to the recent incident in the Legislative Council. Arasikere Railway Police have registered a case and an investigation is underway.
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa paid his respect and expressed shock over Gowda’s death. “I pray that the Lord gives strength to his family and his fans, Om Shanti,” he tweeted.
ಅವರ ಆತ್ಮಕ್ಕೆ ಸದ್ಗತಿಯನ್ನು ಕೋರುತ್ತಾ, ಅವರ ಕುಟುಂಬದವರಿಗೆ ಮತ್ತು ಅಭಿಮಾನಿಗಳಿಗೆ ಈ ನೋವನ್ನು ಭರಿಸುವ ಶಕ್ತಿಯನ್ನು ಭಗವಂತ ನೀಡಲಿ ಎಂದು ಪ್ರಾರ್ಥಿಸುತ್ತೇನೆ. ಓಂ ಶಾಂತಿ (2/2)
— B.S. Yediyurappa (@BSYBJP) December 29, 2020
Dharmaraj, the car driver of Dharme Gowda, told reporters that the JD-S legislator had asked him to park the car near the railway track at Gunasagara as he had to meet someone. “Dharme Gowda told me to park the vehicle near the track around 6.30 pm. He told me he is going to meet someone and told me to be here only, but never returned. I waited near the track till 12.30 am. While we were driving he was talking on the phone with someone, ” Dharmaraj said.
Gowda was in the news recently after the opposition Congress members pushed him off his chair in the ruckus over a no-confidence motion against the Chairman in the Upper House. Gowda was elected as the vice-chairperson of the council in 2018.
Leaders from all major Karnataka political parties paid tribute to him. In a statement, JD(S) supremo H D Devegowda, said “Shocked to hear the news of Dharme Gowda’s death by suicide. It’s a big loss to the state, he was a soft-spoken person.”
JD(S) leader and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy said Dharme Gowda was like a brother to him. “His death has caused a shock to me. He was an upright politician,” Kumaraswamy said in a tweet.
ವಿಧಾನಪರಿಷತ್ ಉಪಸಭಾಪತಿ ಹಾಗೂ @JanataDal_S ಮುಖಂಡರಾದ ಎಸ್.ಎಲ್. ಧರ್ಮೇಗೌಡರು ಆತ್ಮಹತ್ಯೆ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಂಡಿರುವ ಸುದ್ದಿ ಕೇಳಿ ಆಘಾತವಾಗಿದೆ. ಸಜ್ಜನ, ಸನ್ನಡತೆಯ ಉಪಸಭಾಪತಿಗಳನ್ನು ಕಳೆದುಕೊಂಡದ್ದು ನಮ್ಮ ರಾಜ್ಯದ ನಷ್ಟ. ಅವರ ಕುಟುಂಬ ಹಾಗೂ ಬಂಧುಮಿತ್ರರಿಗೆ ಈ ನೋವು ಭರಿಸುವ ಶಕ್ತಿ ಭಗವಂತ ನೀಡಲಿ.
— H D Devegowda (@H_D_Devegowda) December 29, 2020
Karnataka Congress president D K Shivakumar said, “It is unbelievable that Dharme Gowda is no more, he was a very simple man. It is very shocking to all of us. On behalf of my party, and myself, we pray that his soul rests in peace.”
Gowda is survived by his wife Mamata, son Sonal S D and daughter Saloni S.D. His brother S L Bhoje Gowda is also an MLC. He started his political career as a member of panchayat and was elected as MLA from Birur Assembly constituency in 2004 and served in the cooperative sector for several years. Gowda was elected as the vice-chairperson of the council in 2018.
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