Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Friday that if the news of legendary singer Manna Dey’s demise had reached him a little earlier, elaborate arrangements could have been made for his last rites.
He said he did not know that the singer resided in Bangalore until last morning. He came to know about his demise late in the morning by when, he said, he was caught up with his schedule and could not make it to the cremation.
The chief minister visited Dey’s residence at Kalyan Nagar on Friday and interacted with his family members.
“He was a legend. The awards that he won were many. I feel proud that he has also sung Kannada songs. I was pained to hear about his demise. May his soul rest in peace,” he said.
Pending hospital bills
Dey’s family made a representation to the chief minister about financial assistance to the family in clearing his medical bills. In the letter, the family stated that when they left the hospital to take Dey’s body for the last rites, they were not able to clear all the pending bills.
The family went ahead with the cremation after they requested the hospital that they would clear the bills as soon as possible. The pending amount is said to be about Rs 25 lakh to Rs 30 lakh.
Dey’s family had expressed its dissatisfaction over West Bengal government’s apathy in responding to its request seeking medical aid to the singer who was hospitalised for long.
When asked whether the Karnataka government was considering any programmes in his honour, Siddaramaiah said they would think over it. Kannada actor Tara who was also present on the occasion said that there were plans to organise music concerts in his memory.
The family was happy with the manner in which the police and the State government cooperated with them, Dey’s daughter Shumita Deb said.
Speaking with mediapersons, she said, “We are grateful to the Karnataka government. They have helped us a lot. We are also grateful to all fans who turned up on Thursday. It was overwhelming to see that my dad was so loved.”
The family members said they did not want to make any comparison between the two state governments and unnecessarily politicise the issue.
Mayor too unaware
While the country was mourning the death of eminent singer Manna Dey in the City, with television channels and social media networks abuzz with the news, Mayor B S Sathyanarayana could not pay his tributes because he had no information on when he died and where he was supposed to be cremated.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event, Sathyanarayana said he was held up by some personal engagements, due to which he could not make it to the Ravindra Kalakshetra, where the mortal remains of the Dada Saheb Phalke award winner was kept for people to pay homage.
To compensate his non-attendance, the First Citizen of Bangalore said he would pay homage in the BBMP council meeting on October 28.