Karnataka: Teary-eyed fans, actors, politicians pay homage to Ambareesh
Bengaluru, Nov 25: Scores of fans and followers led by top south Indian actors like Rajinikanth and Mohan Babu paid tributes to actor-turned-politician Ambareesh Sunday.
Ambareesh passed away in Bengaluru. He was 66. The former Union minister was rushed to a private hospital after he complained of breathing problems, sources said.
Mourners filed past the mortal remains of Ambareesh with occasional outburst of emotions at Kanteerva Stadium here amid tight security with about 1,000 policemen deployed in and around the area.
The state government Sunday announced a three-day mourning and a state funeral for the late leader. The body of the late film actor was taken from the private hospital where he died to his home in the night and was shifted to Kanteerava Stadium for people to pay homage.
At the Kanteerava Stadium here, superstars Rajinikanth and Chiranjeevi, multi-lingual actress Lakshmi of 'Julie' fame, Telugu star Mohan Babu and Kannada actor Shivrajkumar paid homage to the late actor-politician. Chiranjeevi and Mohan Babu broke down on seeing the body of Ambareesh, who had shared an intimate friendship with the south Indian actors.
Wrapped in tri-colour, the body was then flown in an IAF helicopter to Mandya to facilitate the people of his home district to pay their last respect to "Mandyada Gandu" (man of Mandya).
Thousands of people gathered at the Visweswarayya Stadium in Mandya to have his final glimpse of Ambareesh who had endeared himself to the local masses as an actor and a politician with his down to earth nature.
As the body was flown to Mandya, section 144 of the CrPC, which prohibits assembly of more than four persons at a spot, was imposed from Sunday evening to Monday morning to avoid unwanted congregation of people.
In a career spanning over 50 years, Ambareesh has acted in over 200 movies. His roles in several popular films earned him the title of 'Rebel Star'. He debuted with the 1972 film Nagarahaavu, and won the national award in his first film itself.
He was also known by the name 'Mandyada Gandu' after portraying several roles as the 'angry young man.'
In politics, he began his career first with the Janata Dal and became an MP in the 12th Lok Sabha from Mandya itself and later joined the Congress party to represent the same seat on two more occasions. He was also the central Minister of State in the Manmohan Singh government but gave up his ministership over disappointment to the Cauvery Tribunal Award in 2006. He chose to skip the May 2018 Assembly elections in Karnataka citing health concerns.