BANGALORE: Little would the six newspaper reporters who spoke to Minister for Higher Education Dr V S Acharya, 73, prior to a function here on Tuesday, have realised that the minister had uttered his last words.
The minister’s reply, when permission was sought to speak to him, was: “I will talk to you after the programme. People are waiting for me.”
A visibly frail Acharya arrived at Government Science College (GSC) at around 12:30 pm. After receiving a welcome from NCC volunteers, he proceeded to the Raja Ramanna auditorium to inaugurate a conference titled ‘Reflection on Constructive Policies Under XI Plan Period’. Clad in his signature white attire, the minister had to grip the hand of his security to walk towards the dais. Around 12:50 pm, Acharya, feeling feeble, fell down, and was helped to his chair by security and other officials present.
Following this, the minister started breathing heavy. He was given some water and a cup of tea, which he spilt on his shirt, and slipped into unconsciousness.
Acharya’s personal staff tried desperately to resuscitate him; with the minister turning pale, others rubbed his arms, legs and chest relentlessly, but in vain.
Around 1 pm, Acharya was laid on his back on a flat table and was taken to Mallige Medical Centre near Shivananda Circle, where chief medical superintendent Dr N Rama Reddy declared the minister brought dead.
“Acharya died due to a massive myocardial infarction resulting in heart attack. The attack occurred around 1.02pm,” Dr Reddy said.