Bangalore (UNI): Both the Houses of the Karnataka Legislature yesterday paid glowing tributes to Kannada matinee idol Rajkumar, who passed away recently. Members of both the Houses also observed a minute's silence as a mark of respect to the departed actor, following which the two-day special session was adjourned for the day. In the Assembly, Speaker Krishna, moving the obituary reference, said that with the death of Rajkumar, an era in Kannada culture had come to an end. Rajkumar, who had won several national and State awards, had dedicated his life to protect the interests of Kannada and its culture, he added.
Paying tributes, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said his success in the film world was excellent, though he had hailed from a humble background. His participation in the Gokak movement itself was a big boost to the movement to fight against ''injustice'' to Kannada. ''Rajkumar's distinguished roles in films had inspired me personally to mould the characters in myself,'' he said, adding that it was not easy to get another person like him whose contribution to the State would remain in the minds of every Kannadiga forever.
Deputy Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa invited the members of the House to give suggestions for setting up a memorial in his name. Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly N Dharam Singh recalled that the then Krishna Government had strived hard to successfully bring back Rajkumar from the clutchces of forest brigand Veerappan. Noting that the State had witnessed a sad moment when the thespian died and many of his fans were dissappointed at not being able to get a last glimpse of their hero, he said the Chief Minister should have attended the funeral.
In the Council, Higher Education Minister D H Shankaramurthy, Leader of the Opposition H K Patil, film actors-turned-politicians 'Mukhya Mantri' Chandru, Umashree and Shrinath also paid rich tributes. Council Chairmman V R Sudarshan urged for setting up an University in the name of Rajkumar.