Bengaluru: Former Karnataka MLA Gopal Bhandary died while travelling in a bus from Bengaluru to Mangaluru on Thursday (July 4). The bus driver found him slumped on the seat when the bus reached Mangaluru.

The former congress MLA who was travelling alone in a Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) multi-axle bus to Mangaluru alighted from the vehicle when it stopped for a coffee break near KB cross near Turuvekere at around 4:30 pm. He had begun his journey from Bengaluru at 2 pm.

The driver of the bus found him slumped on the seat when the bus reached the main KSRTC station in Bejai in Mangaluru at around 10:15 pm, reports said.

He was immediately taken to Wenlock Hospital in the city. However, the hospital authorities said that he was ‘brought dead’.

Sandeep Patil, Mangaluru police commissioner, reportedly confirmed the death of the MLA in a statement issued to the media.

M Veerappa Moily and former Mangaluru MLA JR Lobo visited the hospital on Thursday night.

The former Karkala MLA passed away three days before his 67th birthday.

Gopal represented the Karkala constituency in Karnataka’s Udupi district from 1999 to 2004 and a second time from 2008 to 2013. He defeated V Sunil Kumar of the BJP in 2008 by a margin of 1,537 votes.

In 2018, he lost the Assembly elections in Karkala to V Sunil Kumar.

Gopal was considered a protégé of former chief minister Veerappa Moily. He also contested and won from the Karkala constituency in 1992.