Veteran BJP leader, Minister of Higher Education and the first politician to ban the system of carrying faeces on head by dalits in Karnataka Dr VS Acharya passed away in Bengaluru on February 15. He was 71. He is survived by his wife, four sons and a daughter.
Dr Acharya, who arrived from Udupi in the morning, reached Government Science College on Nrupathunga Road in Bengaluru, where he was scheduled to participate in a seminar. As he was walking towards the stage, he collapsed, and was taken to a hospital. He had been keeping indifferent health for the last few months.
Born on July 6, 1940, he started his political career in the erstwhile Bharatiya Jan Sangh and was president of Udupi city municipality from 1968 to 1976. His winning the election was the first ever win by Jan Sangh in an elected body of South India. Dr Acharya brought several youngsters to Jan Sangh and BJP who reached different top positions in the party. He was a rare politician with highest commitment for dalits, OBCs and economically deprived. Twadeeyaaya Kaaryaya Baddhaa Kateeyam, was the slogan adopted by Udupi Municipality as per the directions of Dr Acharya.
Dr Acharya was also one of the first MLAs of Karnataka and was responsible for the entry of Jan Sangh in Karnataka Assembly. A doctor by profession, he became a member of the Karnataka Legislative Council in 1996. One of the senior-most members of the Cabinet, Dr Acharya also held the Home portfolio. He had been jailed for 19 months during the 1975-77 internal Emergency imposed by then prime minister Indira Gandhi.
BJP president Shri Nitin Gadkari expressed his profound grief and sorrow on the demise of the senior Karnataka BJP leader. In a condolence message, Shri Gadkari said with the departure of VS Acharya, the BJP has lost a stalwart in Karnataka. “It is a personal loss to me as well,” Shri Gadkari said. A physician by profession Shri Acharya was instrumental in the then Jan Sangh’s victory in 1968 of Udupi municipal council which had laid foundation for BJP rule in South, Shri Gadkari said.