Chikkamagaluru: Fifteen days after unruly scenes unfolded in the Karnataka Legislative Council where he was reportedly heckled, deputy chairman and member of legislative council SL Dharmegowda was found dead on a railway track near Kadur in Chikkamagaluru district on Tuesday morning, reports said. Gowda was a member of the Janata Dal (Secular).
The Railway police, in their primary investigation, found it to be an incident of suicide. A note was reportedly found, but the police have not shared its contents. His body has been taken to the Shimoga government hospital for post-mortem.
As reported by The Hindu, the JD (S) leader left his farmhouse at Ayyanakere near Sakharayapatna town with driver Dharmaraj on Monday evening. Dharmaraj said that Dharmegowda asked him to stop the car when they were near Gunasagar around 6.15 pm. He asked the driver to wait till he returned. The driver later called Dharmegowda’s personal staff as he did not return for hours. The politician’s phone was found switched off.
The Karnataka Legislative Council witnessed high drama two weeks ago with BJP-JDS and Congress members hurling abuses and pushing each other and Deputy Chairman Dharmegowda being pulled down from the Chairman’s seat over a row pertaining to the no-confidence motion sought to be moved against Chairman K Pratapachandra Shetty.
JD (S) President and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda said he was shocked to hear about Dharmegowda’s death. “He was a calm and decent man,” he said in a tweet. “This is a loss for our state. May god grant strength to the bereaved family.”
JD (S) leader and former chief minister of Karnataka HD Kumaraswamy also mourned his death.
Dharmegowda is survived by his wife Mamatha, son Sonal SD and daughter Saloni SD.