Fourth Karnataka CM from Shimoga

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Bangalore, May 30: The politically and culturally sensitive district of Shimoga in Karnataka today earned the distinction of giving the state's fourth Chief Minister, with the swearing-in of BJP veteran B S Yeddyurappa. His other predecessors from the district were Kadidal Manjappa (1956), S Bangarappa (1990-92) and J H Patel (1996-99).

Mr Yeddyurappa had last occupied the Chief Minister's chair for mere seven days from November 12 to 19, before resigning as its ally Janata Dal (Secular) had reversed its decision to support the BJP to continue in office.The district in southern Karnataka is also known for the famous 'Kagodu Chaluvali', an uprising against the Zamindari system in the 1960s. The agitation, spearheaded by popular socialist leader Shanthaveri Gopala Gowda, pressed for land for the tillers by abolishing the age-old tenancy system through land reforms.

As many as six lakh tenant farmers in the state have benefited from the stir, which also attracted national attention when legendary socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia lent support to it. Mr Lohia was arrested with other socialist party associates during the struggle.

The intense socialist movement in the district had also thrown up several political leaders like Mr Bangarappa, Mr Patel and Mr Manjappa.

Mr Manjappa had remained in power for a mere three months between August 19 and December 31, 1956.

Mr Bangarappa, who had emerged as a leader in the district through the Socialist movement, had joined the Congress later and become Chief Minister from October 1990 to November 1992. Mr Patel had headed the Janata Dal government in 1996 when Karnataka Chief Minister H D Deve Gowda had become the Prime Minister and remained in office till October 1999.

This is the second stint for Mr Yeddyurappa at the helm of affairs in Karnataka and this time on his own party's strength as the BJP emerged as the single largest party with 110 seats in the 224-member Assembly. However, the BJP was able to form the government with the support extended by all the six independent candidates.

Though Mr Yeddyurappa, the 19th Chief Minister and a staunch Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activist, was born in K R Pet in Mandya district, his political career bloomed in Shimoga as he had migrated to Shikaripur taluk in that district in his early 20's.


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