Late Kannada Actor Puneeth Rajkumar alias Appu conferred Karnataka Ratna award at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru

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Bengaluru: The Karnataka Government honoured the late Kannada Actor Puneeth Rajkumar with Karnataka Ratna award posthumously on Tuesday on the occasion of 67th Rajyotsava Day. Puneeth’s Ashwini received the Karnataka Ratna award posthumously on behalf of her husband.

          It is the highest civilian award in Karnataka. The award instituted in 1992 to reward a person for his/her extraordinary contribution in any field, was conferred on Rashtrakavi Kuvempu and Dr Rajkumar. Puneeth’s wife Ashwini Revanath said, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is dear to our family. He and his Government have done a lot for Puneeth. So I thank everyone on behalf of our family, Ashwini said.

After 30 years, the film industry and especially one among Dr Rajkumar’s family has received the honour again. Many members of Dr Rajkumar’s family, including Puneeth’s brothers superstar Shivarajkumar and Raghavendra Rajkumar attended the ceremony to witness the award conferred on Puneeth.

Superstar Rajinikanth, Tollywood actor Junior NTR and Infosys Foundation founder Sudha Murthy were among the guests who attended the event.

Today also is his day, though he is not among us. When the incident happened, I was in hospital and was informed three days later. I could not believe the news as Puneeth was so young and fit, said Rajinikanth. The massive crowd which gathered to witness Tuesday’s event was a proof of Puneeth’s affable personality and his humane and humble nature, he added.

Jr NTR, who shared a personal bond with the late actor, said Puneeth is a superstar, a great star, a father, a friend, a wonderful husband, and a person with a rich heart. The fans went crazy when singer Vijay Prakash sang songs from Appu’s (as Puneeth is fondly called) films. Deafening roars from the crowds echoed across the Vidhana Soudha premises, as thousands of fans who had gathered cheered to ‘Nene Rajakumara’, ‘Ninnindale Ninnindale’ and other famous Kannada songs from Puneeth’s films. As some fans climbed the fence to enter the venue, the police had to rush in to cane a few.

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