Bengaluru: Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai was among those who paid their last respects and tributes to Minister Umesh Katti, who passed away last night. Bommai called him “Ajathashatru (a person without enemies)”, who shared cordial relations across party lines. “He was my close friend…our families have had a relationship for over 40 years. His father, Vishwanath Katti, was close to my father (S.R. Bommai),” the CM said.
Several members of the State Cabinet were at the hospital where Katti was rushed after complaining of chest pain. Katti’s father also died of a heart attack and forced his early entry into politics. “At that time, a very young Umesh Katti was 25…and started his public life and never looked back. He became one of the prominent leaders in the State,” Bommai said.
Born in Bellada Bagewadi in Hukkeri taluk of Belagavi district, Katti was eight-time MLA from Hukkeri Assembly Constituency. He entered politics following the demise of his father in 1985.
Before joining BJP in 2008, Katti was with Janata Party, Janata Dal, JD(U) and JD(S). He had earlier served as Minister in the Cabinet headed by J.H. Patel, Yediyurappa, Sadananda Gowda and Jagadish Shettar.