Family political history comes a full circle, Basavaraj Bommai becomes CM of Karnataka
Bengaluru, July 28: Basavaraj Bommai who took oath as Karnataka chief minister, became the latest in the father-son duos to occupy the CM's post.
Bommai may have joined BJP in 2008 but his family's politcal history came a full circle. His father Somappa Rayappa Bommai (SR Bommai) occupied the position for a brief period of time during 1988-1989.
Born on 6th June 1924, in a Sadar Lingayat family, Somappa Rayappa Bommai was the 11th Chief Minister of Karnataka . He was also the Human Resource Development Minister in the United Front government from 1996 to 1998.
He took part in the Quit India movement of 1942. He also played an active role in the unification (Ekikarana in Kannada) of Karnataka which had been spread among Mysore kingdom, Bombay Presidency, Hyderabad, and Madras Presidency, during the British rule.
A lawyer by profession, he was elected to the Karnataka Legislative assembly many times from the Hubballi rural constituency and was also a member of the Karnataka Legislative council from 1972 to 1978.
He along with Ramakrishna Hegde, J. H. Patel and H. D. Deve Gowda - was instrumental in the Janata Party forming a government in the State for the first time in the State in 1983. He was given the weighty portfolio of Industries in the Ramakrishna Hegde government.
After Hegde quit on moral grounds, Mr. Bommai took charge as Chief Minister of the State on 13 August 1988 and his government was dismissed by the then Governor, P. Venkatasubbaiah, on 21 April 1989.
The dismissal was on the grounds that his government had lost its majority following large-scale defections engineered by several Janata Party leaders of the day. Bommai had sought some time from the Governor to prove his majority on the floor of the Legislature and he was denied this. He challenged this order in the Supreme Court.
S. R. Bommai v. Union of India was a landmark judgment of the Supreme Court of India, where the Court discussed at length, the provisions of Article 356 of the Constitution of India and related issues. The apex court spelt out restrictions on the Centre's power to dismiss a state government under Article 356.
This case had huge impact on Centre-State Relations. Instances of imposition of President's rule have reduced after this judgement.
Bommai was National president of the Janata Dal from 1990 to 1996. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha, two times in 1992 and 1998.
In 1996, he became the Union minister for Human resource development in the United Front government and served with both the prime ministers H. D. Deve Gowda and I. K. Gujral.
In 1999, after the Janata Dal split, he sided with the JD(U) faction and later formed the All India Progressive Janata Dal in 2002, as a platform for merger of different factions of Janata Dal.
However, after large scale defections, the weakened party was finally merged with JD(U).
He died on 10 October 2007, aged 84. His one son, M.S.Bommai is an industrialist in Bangalore, and the other Basavaraj Bommai inherited his political legacy and went on to become the Chief Minister of Karnataka in 2021.