Former MLA Vasu passes away
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Former MLA Vasu passes away

March 9, 2024

Mysore/Mysuru: Former Chamaraja MLA Vasu (72), who was more popularly known as Mayor Vasu, passed away at a private hospital in city this morning following prolonged illness.

Vasu, who fell ill months ago and was taking treatment at his residence in Jayalakshmipuram, was rushed to ClearMedi Radiant Hospital in Vijayanagar 3rd Stage last night after his health condition deteriorated. But he passed away at  10.20 am today after failing to respond to treatment.

Vasu leaves behind three sons — BJP leaders Kaveesh V. Gowda and Avish Gowda and Ritesh Gowda — daughters-in-law and a host of relatives and friends. His wife Lalitha had predeceased him in 2006.

Vasu’s body will be kept at his residence on Temple Road in Jayalakshmipuram till tomorrow afternoon for the public to pay their last respects.

Last rites will be performed at Vidya Vikas Institute of Engineering and Technology (VVIET) premises on Bannur Road in city outskirts after 3 pm on Mar. 10, according to family sources.

Son’s wedding on Mar. 11

While Vasu’s eldest son Kaveesh Gowda and youngest son Ritesh Gowda are married, the wedding of his second son Avish Gowda was scheduled to take place at a simple ceremony on Mar. 11. But incidentally, Vasu expired just two days before the wedding.

His elder son Kaveesh Gowda had unsuccessfully contested the 2023 Assembly polls from Chamundeshwari Constituency on a BJP ticket.

VVET Founder

An educationist, Vasu was the Founder-Chairman of Vidya Vikas Educational Trust (VVET) on Bannur Road in city, which he established 20 years ago. The Trust runs VVIET, apart from many other higher educational institutions.

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Venturing into the field of Journalism, he ran ‘The Mysore Mail’ (now closed), an English eveninger and ‘Kannadigara Prajanudi’, a Kannada morning daily. 

Tryst with politics

A native of Agathahalli in Pandavapura taluk of Mandya district, Vasu settled down in Mysuru over 60 years ago. Later he joined politics and contested the MCC polls on a Congress ticket in 1983 and won. He went on to become the Mayor in 1989-90 and thereafter became popular as Mayor Vasu.

A close associate of former Chief Minister and former Union Minister Dr. Ṃ. Veerappa Moily, Vasu served as the Political Secretary of Moily when he was the Chief Minister (1992-94).

Whenever Moily came to Mysuru on a visit irrespective of personal and professional engagements, Vasu was prominently accompanying his political mentor.

Vasu unsuccessfully contested the Assembly polls from Chamaraja Constituency twice on a Congress ticket in 1999 and 2008 losing to H.S. Shankarlingegowda of the BJP.

However, he succeeded in getting elected from the same Constituency in 2013. Serving as an MLA, Vasu, who was a staunch Congressman, played a key role in the establishment  of new Jayadeva Hospital on KRS Road and the construction of Trauma Care Centre, District Hospital, Princess Krishnajammanni Super Speciality Hospital, all in PKTB Sanatorium premises on KRS road which resulted in KRS road becoming the health care hub of the city as the road is lined up with many major Hospitals.

He was also instrumental in the construction of Maharani’s Commerce and Management College for women in Paduvarahalli. But he lost to L. Nagendra of the BJP in the 2018 Assembly polls and failed to get the Congress party ticket in the 2023 Assembly polls.

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Vasu, who was a multi-faceted personality, also served as Chairman of Karnataka Industrial Development Bank, as President of Mysore Industries Association (MIA) and  Mysuru Athletics Association, during his decades long political career as a Congressman. He has also made his own mark in the Co-operative sector serving as the Vice-president of Karnataka Apex Bank. 

MLAs G.T. Devegowda, K. Harishgowda and D. Ravishankar, former MLA M.K. Somashekar, city Congress President R. Murthy and District President Dr B.J. Vijaykumar were among the early visitors to the Hospital this morning after coming to know of the former MLA’s death.

Deputy Chief Minister D.K.Shivakumar, who is also the KPCC President, has condoled the death of former MLA Vasu. In his condolence message, Shivakumar said he was deeply pained upon coming to know of Vasu’s demise. Recalling his association with Vasu  and the services of the former MLA as  Mysuru Mayor and Chamaraja MLA, he said that the former MLA played an active role in the organisation of the Congress party in Mysuru and Chamarajanagar districts. He prays for the departed soul to rest in peace, the Deputy CM said.

The Karnataka Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) too has condoled the death of Vasu. In its condolence message, KUWJ President Shivanand Tagadur recalled the services of Vasu as Mysuru Mayor and Chamaraja MLA.

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