Kannada film actor Puneeth Rajkumar, who passed away a fortnight ago following a cardiac arrest, will be honoured with Karnataka’s highest civilian honour — Karnataka Ratna.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai made the announcement during a programme – Puneeth Namana – organised to pay tribute to the Sandalwood star on Tuesday by the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce in Bengaluru.
Soon after the programme, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavraj Bommai from his official Twitter handle tweeted, “State Government has decided to honour late Sri #PuneethRajukumar with Karnataka Ratna award posthumously.”
Puneet Rajkumar will be the second personality from the Kannada film industry and the 10th person to receive Karnataka’s highest civilian honour since its institution three decades ago.
Interestingly, the first person to receive Karnataka’s highest civilian award was Puneet Rajkumar’s father Dr Rajkumar. He was also a veteran actor of his time.
Puneeth’s elder brother and actor Shivaraj Kumar, who was also present in the programme said, “It is an honour for us that Puneet will be entitled with the state’s highest civilian award. My brother deserves every bit and he was also engaged in a lot of social services.”
Forer Congress Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who was also present at the program described Puneeth as a rare personality who has embodied virtues and won the hearts of millions.
The former Karnataka chief minister urged Chief Minister Bommai to recommend Puneeth Rajkumar’s name to the Central Government for the Padma Shri award.
Telugu actor Manchu Manoj has appealed to the actors and directors of the film industry from every state to give representation to the Centre to award Puneeth Rajkumar with the Padma Shri award.
Congress leader DK Shivakumar, during the programme, appealed to the Karnataka Chief Minister to start a film training academy in Puneeth Rajkumar’s name.
“Puneeth has been a great actor and human being. To pay tribute to the actor, we should start something in the name of the actor,” said Shivakumar.