Former Karnataka Chief Minister N Dharam Singh passes away at 80 in Bengaluru hospital

Former Karnataka Chief Minister N Dharam Singh passes away at 80 in Bengaluru hospital

Benguluru,July27:Former Karnataka Chief Minister N Dharam Singh passed away at a Bengaluru hospital on Thursday, doctors said. Singh was 80. He was the 17th Chief Minister of Karnataka and a member of the Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress alliance government between 2004 and 2006. Local reports said he was admitted for heart ailments at the MS Ramaiah Memorial Hospital in Bengaluru.

He is survived by his wife and three children. Born in 1936 at Nelogi village in Kalaburgi district’s Jewargi taluk area, he made a name for himself as one of the more influential leaders in the state. He won seven straight Assembly election terms from the Jewargi constituency in Karnataka. He also served as Member of Parliament in Lok Sabha.

He started his political career as a corporator in Gulbarga district. He endorsed the socialist ideology and served in the Congress party for most of his life. He joined the Congress party in late 1960s. He was a close friend of senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge who started their political careers in Karnataka. His political career spanned more than forty years and he won the support of people in his constituency cutting across castes. He also served under other chief ministers like Devaraj Urs, R Gundu Rao, M Veerappa Moily, SM Krishna and S Bangarappa. During his tenure, he held portfolios like home, revenue, excise, urban development, public works and social welfare. He has also served as the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president.

He was the popular choice in the 2004 alliance between Congress and JD (S). However, a tumultous period of 20 months followed the collapse of his government when the JD (S) withdrew support and sided with the BJP to form another government.