Siddu Bhimappa Nyamgouda, the newly-elected Karnataka Congress MLA from Jamkhandi in Bagalkot district of the state, passed away in a road accident in the early hours of Monday.

The vehicle that the 67-year-old Nyamagouda was travelling in met with an accident near Tulasigere, a village located close to Kaladgi in the same district. According to reports, the accident happened around 4.30 am when the MLA was returning from Goa airport to Jamakhandi. His car reportedly hit a divider.

Nyamagouda, who also served as the Union Coal Minister in the then prime minister PV Narasimha Rao’s cabinet, was known as a farmers’ leader, a point that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa highlighted in his tribute to the Congress leader on Twitter.

“He was very concerned about farmers,” wrote Yeddyurappa while praying for strength to his family at this hour of grief.

 

Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah, too, mourned the death of the popular leader.

“The untimely death of our party MLA Siddu Nyamgouda has left me shocked. Siddu Nyamgouda, popularly known as ‘Barage Siddu’, will be missed,” wrote Siddaramaiah referring to the barrage Nyamgouda constructed at Chikkapadasalgi in Jamkhandi which serves as a lifeline for the sugarcane farmers of Jamkhandi and Athani of Belagavi district.

 

Karnataka deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, too, expressed his grief.

“Extremely saddened by the passing of Jamkhandi MLA, Shri Siddu B Nyamagouda in a road accident. He was a deeply committed and hard working leader of @INCKarnataka. We will miss him. My condolences to his friends and family,” he wrote.

 

He is also known for defeating former chief minister Ramkrishna Hegde in Bagalkot in his very first electoral contest.

He was one of the 78 Congress MLAs who were elected to the Karnataka Assembly in the May 12 polls. According to reports, Nyamagouda had a very strong chance of becoming a minister in the current Congress-JD(S) coalition government headed by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.

The Hindu reports that the BJP has called off a scheduled bandh in Bagalkot to pay homage to the departed leader.