Tamil actor Sarath Kumar said that late Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar, who died after suffering a cardiac arrest on 29 October, deserves Bharat Ratna while welcoming the Karnataka Government's decision to honour the Sandalwood's Power Star with Karnataka Ratna posthumously.

Appu Namana
A picture from Appu Namana.PR Handout

Worked Together 40 Days Ago
Speaking at 'Appu Namana' organised by the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, Sarath Kumar recalled his association while hailing the good deeds done by Appu. "Just 40 days back I was working with Puneeth in James (upcoming film). I have no words to express my grief...We had spent a lot of time together. There was a climax fight in James which I could not do, " he said.

Tragic Act of Almighty
He revealed that he could not believe it when he heard about his death news. "It is a tragic act of the almighty and the God cannot be forgiven for this act," he added.

As per the Tamil actor, Appu has left behind a legacy. "There is a soul looking through his eyes. He has initiated people to donate organs which is very essential," he claimed while appreciating the welfare activities done by him without publicising it.

Padmashri for Puneeth
He then added, "I thank Honorable Chief Minister for announcing the Karnataka Ratna. Like R Ashok said Puneeth should be given Padmashri posthumously, but I would think why not Bharat Ratna. He is a great human being and he deserves it. I am a politician and actor. We are all here to serve society in general. He did so many good things for society without getting into politics. Today many people do so many things for publicity. Knowing him so closely I never knew he has done so good things for the society."

I never thought I will come for 'shraddhanjali' of Puneeth
The former Nadigar Sangam President remembered attending the Raajakumar 100 days celebration in the same venue. "It is the very same place where I had attended Raajkumara 100 days celebration. I never thought I will come for 'shraddhanjali' of Puneeth. I thought Puneet would come to my 'shraddanjali' because I am 67 years old. I think god should have taken me instead of Puneeth.

I could have given my life to him. I would still give my entire life to the Raj family. Shivanna is close to me. Puneeth was very close to me. Raghavendra is close to me. We should be indebted to this family forever in Karnataka."

Indebted to the State of Karnataka
Sarath Kumar claimed that he earned his first salary in Bengaluru by selling newspapers. "So my roots are here, my life had started here.. so I am indebted to the state of Karnataka. Rajkumar family. Shivanna, we will be at your service whatever day...whenever you call us. We will be there for service as volunteers and not as celebrities,"

Kumar further said that Puneet will live forever in the hearts of the people.