Bengaluru: Firebrand politician and the first Karnataka unit president of BJP A K Subbaiah died on Tuesday at a private hospital due to age-related ailments, family sources said. Subbaiah, 83, is survived by wife and five sons, they said.
A native of Kodagu district, he was associated with the Jan Sangh and when it emerged in the new avatar of BJP, he was assigned the role of its state president.
After helming the BJP in the state for some years, he had joined the Congress in the late 1980s and later moved to JDS. He was not active politically for a long time till his demise.
Condoling his death, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda tweeted: "I am deeply hurt to learn about the demise of A K Subbaiah who started off from Jan Sangh and later became the BJP state president to take up various pro-people movements."
Recalling the late leader's imprisonment during the Emergency, Gowda said, "Subbaiah was my intimate friend and during the emergency went to jail together". Former chief minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah said Subbaiah's death was his personal loss.
"In Subbaiah's death, I have lost a friend. A revolutionary and outspoken person, who minced no words while reacting to the contentious issues of the prevailing time," said Siddaramaiah in his condolence message.