The Challenging Star, who had a long-standing relationship with the late Power Star, had just begun shooting his next, Kranti, when news of Puneeth’s passing came.
Challenging Star Darshan was on the set of his new film, Kranti, when he got news that Power Star Puneeth Rajkumar was unwell. According to Kranti producer Shylaja Nag, although the initial media reports were that Puneeth was in critical condition and receiving appropriate treatment, Darshan had apparently heard from reliable sources that the actor was no more. Darshan, she adds, was distraught and by the time she got the news and went to speak to him, he told her he knew already and left the set immediately.
October 29, incidentally, was when Kranti was supposed to start off in full swing and Darshan was in his caravan getting ready for the shoot when the unfortunate news came. Shortly after, Darshan left the set and headed to Vikram hospital. He later took to social media to post a picture with Puneeth, writing, “good soul, true friend gone too soon. You will always be missed. We shall always remember you for your good works. Difficult to digest this hard fact that you are no more with us. R.I.P my friend.”
Darshan asked team Kranti to push the shoot dates ahead, until such time that it was not only appropriate for them to resume work, but also allowed him to come to terms with the loss of a good friend. Although a source says that shooting for Kranti may resume on November 15, the team may push it ahead a couple of days, as November 16 is when the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce has a tribute planned for Puneeth, for which the members have requested the industry to halt all work for a day.
Star kids, both Darshan and Puneeth had known each other for a long time, with the former even doing a small role in the latter’s Arasu.