Karnataka Ratna event: Rajinikanth gets emotional remembering 'God's child' Puneeth Rajkumar, reveals reason behind not attending his funeral

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Puneeth Rajkumar, the legendary Kannada star, was conferred with Karnataka’s highest civilian award- the Karnataka Ratna- posthumously. The event was attended by stalwarts like Rajinikanth, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Jr NTR and others. Remembering Puneeth as God's child, Rajinikanth got emotional at the event which was held on on the occasion of the 67th Kannada Rajyotsava.

Remembering Puneeth fondly, Rajinikanth spoke about the late actor in the presence of his wife Ashwini Puneeth Rajkumar, brother Shivarajkumar and other family members. "In Kali Yuga, Appu (Puneeth) is like Markandeya, Prahlada, Nachiketa. He was God’s child. That child lived among us for some time. He played with us and made us laugh. Later, that child went back to God. His aatma (soul) is with us," Rajinikanth told. 

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He further revealed the reason behind not attending Puneeth's funeral. The veteran actor shared that when Puneeth passed away, he had undergone an an operation and was in the intensive care unit (ICU). Rajinikanth also told that he wasn't informed about the actor's death for 3 days due to his health condition.

The superstar, who is close to the Rajkumar family, said even if he were healthy at the time, he wouldn’t have travelled to Bengaluru to see the mortal remains of Puneeth. "I would never want to lose that child’s smiling face from my memory," he said.

Puneeth's wife Ashwini received the Karnataka Ratna award consisting a full silver plaque and a 50 gram gold medal. 

Kannada film industry's Power Star Puneeth also known as Appu breathed his last on October 29, 2021, after suffering a massive cardiac arrest. He was the youngest child of matinee idol Dr Rajkumar and Parvathamma Rajkumar. Puneeth was 46 years old. 

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