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Home > India > News > Report

Krishna in K'taka as campaigner not CM

Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | March 06, 2008 12:37 IST

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S M Krishna is back in Karnataka and his role in the Congress has already been defined.

Krishna, a former Karnataka chief minister who resigned on Wednesday as the Governor of Maharashtra, will head the election coordination committee of the Congress in the state.

Krishna, who is being viewed as a star campaigner for the Congress in the state, will lead the party during the polls.

However, the party high command has made it clear that he is not being projected as the chief ministerial candidate.

The party maintains that Mallikarjuna Kharge, president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee will be the first choice for the post of chief minister. The party feels that projecting Kharge as the CM candidate would boost the party's chances to get into a post-poll alliance with the Janata Dal-Secular, which is expected to be a key player in the next polls.

Krishna would have to work closely with Congress leader and former Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. Siddaramaiah, who broke away from the JD-S after a spat with H D Deve Gowda, will be the chairman of the campaign committee.

Krishna's main focus would be on the urban voters in the state. He is expected to wave his magic wand around in the cities to woo the urban voter. The Congress believes that he can make a big difference in these belts as he is considered to be a pet of the IT sector.

Krishna so far: Krishna made his first appearance in main stream politics in 1962 when he contested the Karnataka Legislative Assembly Elections. In 1968 he contested the Lok Sabha polls.

In 1972 he became the minister for Industries and then made minister of state for industries and finance in 1980. In 1989, he took over as the speaker of the Karnataka legislative assembly and three years later became the Deputy Chief Minister of state.

Krishna came into the limelight when he was appointed president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee in 1999. He made a huge impact when he led the party to power and took over as the chief minister of Karnataka.

Krishna's tenure as chief minister was not a smooth one. It was daunted by several problems. Although the IT sector boomed during his period thanks to his friendly policies towards that sector, major part of his tenure saw several problems.

During his tenure, the state faced a severe drought, which led to a major dispute regarding the Cauvery Waters. He was pulled up by the Supreme Court for not releasing water to Karnataka, but later he complied with the order. Thanks to this he earned the wrath of the voters from his own constituency, Maddur, which depends heavily on the Cauvery.

Political pundits say he did not contest the elections from Maddur in the next election due to this reason. He contested the elections from the Chamrajpet constituency, which he won comfortably. However, he had to give up the post as he was appointed as Maharashtra Governor. The Congress failed to retain the seat in the by-election.

During his tenure, the state also witnessed one of the worst crises like the abduction of late matinee idol, Dr Rajkumar, at the hands of forest brigand Veerappan. Shortly after the release of Dr Rajkumar, the brigand was at it again. This time he abducted a former Minister of State Nagappa. The government, however, failed to secure his release and the former minister was killed by the brigand in the forests.