Karnataka cooperation and sugar minister HS Mahadev Prasad died of a massive heart attack at a private resort in Koppa in Chikkamagaluru district on Tuesday. Prasad (58) is survived by wife and a son.
Local Congress leaders said as their repeated attempts to reach the minister over phone and by knocking the door failed, his room was opened using a spare key and the body was found on a bed.
He was in Koppa to attend an official function, official sources said.
Prasad had undergone bypass surgery a few years ago. Prasad, who represented Gundlupete constituency in Chamarajanagar district, was a close associate of chief minister Siddaramaiah.
Calling Prasad's death as unexpected and shocking, Siddaramaiah said he was one among his closest.
"It is a huge personal loss to me and to Congress party. He was an able administrator and a clean politician. I have lost a close friend and a wonderful colleague," he said.
State government has declared one-day government holiday and announced three days state mourning.
Prasad was a minister in the JD(S)-BJP coalition government headed by H D Kumaraswamy during 2005-07 and quit JDS and joined the Congress. Prasad's son Ganesh said that the body will be taken to Gundlupete by evening and last rites will be performed tomorrow.