Former chief minister of Karnataka, N Dharam Singh passed away today. He was 80. He passed away after suffering a heart attack.
Singh was admitted to hospital and was undergoing treatment at the M S Ramaiah Memorial hospital in Bengaluru. He passed away at 9 am on Thursday.
Born on December 25 1936 at Jevargi, Gulbarga Singh was the 17th chief minister of Karnataka. He served as the CM between May 28 2004 and February 3 2006.
Singh began his innings in politics as an independent corporator in Gulbaraga. He contested the municipal elections against his own brother.
In the late 1960s he joined the Congress. He remained a loyalist and became the first choice for CM in 2004. Before becoming the CM, Singh has served as a minister under various chief ministers such as Devraj Urs, Gundu Rao, Bangarappa, Veerappa Moily and S M Krishna. He had handled portfolios such as Home, PWD, Excise, Social Welfare among others.
In 2004 when the Karnataka elections resulted in a hung assembly, the Congress and the JD(S) formed the government. He was the unanimous choice of both the Congress and JD(S). The coalition however collapsed after H D Kumaraswamy staged a coup.
Kumaraswamy went on to succeed Singh as the CM.
In the 2008 elections, Singh was defeated D Patil Naribol by a small margin of 52 postal votes. However in 2009, he contested from the Bidar Lok Sabha constituency and won the seat.
In 2008, the Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde had found Dharam Singh and 11 other officials guilty of causing a loss to the State exchequer owing to irregularities in the mining sector. The Lokayukta report indicted him for causing a loss of Rs. 23.22 crore. According to the report, Dharam Singh was faulted for allowing illegal mining in "patta" lands.
Positions that Dharam Singh held.
- 1960: Councillor, Gulbarga City Municipal Council
- 1978-2008: Member of Karnataka Legislative Assembly
- Member of State Backward Classes Commission.
- Minister for Urban Development, Karnataka.
- Minister for Home & Excise, Karnataka.
- Minister for Revenue and Social Welfare, Karnataka.
- KPCC President
- 1999-2004: Minister for Public works, Karnataka.
- 2004-2006: Chief Minister of Karnataka
- 2006-2007: Leader of Opposition, Karnataka Legislative Assembly
- 2009: Member Of Parliament