Bangalore, Oct 11 (UNI) The country has lost a freedom fighter, a peasant leader and an important link in the erstwhile Janata Parivar with the demise of S R Bommai, who died here last night.
Born into the family of Rayappa and Shivamma on June 6, 1924 in Kamadolli village in Dharwad District of Karnataka, Somappa Royappa Bommai did his schooling in the district. Though his ambition was to become a doctor, the pre-Independence movement attracted him towards the freedom struggle.
However, due to parental pressure, he completed his Bachelors Degree in Law in Belgaum. It was during his student days that he was attracted towards Leftist ideologies of M N Roy and became his staunch follower.
Bommai was arrested in Hubli by the British for taking part in the freedom struggle. He also took active participation in the Goa Liberation Movement and unification of Karnataka.
Though he lost in the 1962 Assembly election as an Independent from Kundagol constituency, he entered the Assembly from the same constituency in 1967 by contesting as a candidate of Lok Sevak Sangh. In 1969, he joined Congress following pressure from the then Chief Minister Veerendra Patil and quit the party to join Samstha Congress.
Bommai shot to limelight in the Indian political scenario through his legal battle against the dismissal of his government in 1989 under Article 356 of the constitution. The Supreme Court in its landmark judgment spelt out clear cut restrictions on the Union Government's powers to dismiss state governments under the much misused Article.