Naik, a GP member who rose to become an MP

Naik, a GP member who rose to become an MP

A Venkatesh Naik, the 79-year-old MLA from Devadurga in the district, was a politician respected for his simplicity and polite nature.

The legislator had his beginnings from the grassroots and rose step by step in his five-decade-old career. He was a member and president of the Arakera Gram Panchayat and a member of the Zilla Panchayat.

He first entered the Lok Sabha in 1991 on a Congress ticket, lost to Raja Rangappa Naik of the Janata Dal in 1996 and won again in the elections held in 1998, 1999 and 2003. Venkatesh Naik was denied the party ticket to contest the 2009 elections. In 2014, his son B V Naik was elected to the Lok Sabha.

Having lost the 2008 Assembly elections from the Devadurga seat to his grandson K Shivanagouda, he won the seat in the 2013 polls, defeating his grandson. Though he was recommended for a Cabinet berth by the party high command, he was never included.

Venkatesh Naik was born in a middle-class family on July 6, 1916, to Bhagavantharaya Naik and Ramadevi. He had his primary education in Arakera, studied class 5 to 10 in Devadurga and PUC at Saifabad College in Hyderabad.

He is survived by his wife Savitri (Ratnamma), sons Bhagavantharaya Naik (B V Naik), Rajashekar Naik and three daughters. The last rites were held with government honours at 7 pm at his farm house at Juttamaradi, four km from Arakera.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, in his condolence message, Siddaramaiah stated that Naik was popular among the people and was elected to the Lok Sabha four times.

Siddaramaiah recalled that the soft-spoken Naik had attended an all-party meeting convened to discuss the implementation of the Kalasa-Banduri project held at Vidhana Soudha on Sunday.