Karnataka Minister Umesh Katti died due to a caridiac arrest at a private hospital in Bengaluru on Tuesday night. Katti was the minister for food, civil supplies & consumer affairs and forest.
The 61-year-old minister is survived by his wife and children.
Sources told news agency PTI that Katti had collapsed in the bathroom of his Dollar's Colony residence and was rushed to hospital; however doctors found no pulse when he was brought to the hospital, said state Revenue Minister R Ashoka quoting doctors.
Ashoka termed his death a "huge loss" to the BJP and to the Belagavi district.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said Karnataka lost an experienced statesman, dynamic leader and a loyal public worker as he expressed grief over his colleague and close friend's passing.
Bommai while speaking to the media said that Katti's mortal remains will be shifted to Belagavi by air ambulance. He said that his last rites will be performed with state honours at Bagewadi in Belagavi district.
Last rites will happen after 2pm, Bommai said, adding that public will be allowed to come and pay their respects until then. He also announced holiday in schools and colleges in the Belagavi district.
Health Minister K Sudhakar, Water Resources Minister Govind Kajrol and several BJP leaders rushed to the hospital upon receiving the news.
Former CM Siddaramaiah condoling his death said, "Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of food and civil supplies minister Umesh Katti. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family. May his soul rest in peace."
Born in Belladbagewadi in Hukkeri taluk of Belagavi district, Katti was eight-time MLA from Hukkeri assembly constituency. He entered politics following the demise of his father Vishwanath Katti in 1985.
Before joining the BJP in 2008, Katti was with the Janata Party, Janata Dal, JD(U) and JD(S). He had earlier served as a minister in the Cabinet headed by JH Patel, BS Yediyurappa, DV Sadananda Gowda and Jagadish Shettar.
Katti was often in news for his statements demanding statehood for the north Karnataka region and also openly expressing his chief ministerial ambitions.