How SM Krishna finally made it

He has been a Rajya Sabha member since 2008.  He has served two terms as an MP from Mandya, his home district. He was also a Union Minister of State for  Finance and a Union Minister of State for Industry.

The 77-year-old Krishna resigned as Maharashtra Governor ahead of the Karnataka assembly elections 2008. But he did not contest.  He had made it obvious that he wanted to be in active politics rather than being confined to a Raj Bhavan as governor. There were speculation that he would be fielded from the Bangalore South Lok Sabha elections to take on Bharatiya Janata Party’s Ananth Kumar. But he was not inclined to contest.
He campaigned for the party in the 2008 Assembly elections and 2009 Lok Sabha polls. But his presence did not make any difference to the party’s prospects. He was the chief minister between 1999 and 2004. But the Assembly elections of 2004 paved the way for a coalition government in the State with the Congress securing 65 seats and the Janata Dal (Secular) 58.

Krishna has been loyal to the Congress and Gandhi family since the 1960s. He usually desists from making controversial statements that either embarrass the party or create a flutter in political circles.

When he was the chief minister, he was branded pro-active, pro-urban and, in particular, pro-Bangalore. Despite criticism from the Opposition as well as within a section of the Congress, he laid stress on IT and BT. He formed the Bangalore Agenda Task Force through which he tried to bring co-ordination between various civic agencies for the  development of Bangalore City. He opened up capital for private investment in the industrial sector.

During his tenure as chief minister, the Cauvery water crisis touched its nadir. And, Krishna had to take out a padayatra to Mandya to send message to Tamil Nadu that it was not possible to release Cauvery waters as there was water shortage in the Cauvery basin. More than the Cauvery issue, it was bandit Veerappan who gave sleepless nights to Krishna by abducting Rajkumar and former minister H Nagappa. Krishna’s government successfully negotiated with Veerappan and secured Rajkumar. But in the case of the former minister, Krishna failed as only the body of Nagappa could be found in the forests.
Krishna, a Vokkaliga from Maddur, is known for his sartorial taste. He is a voracious reader. He is a lover of tennis. Even at this age, he plays tennis everyday at least for a couple of hours whenever he is in Bangalore.

He has a passion for designing men’s clothes. He is an avid traveller. He is married to Prema and has two daughters. His son-in-law Siddarth Hegde is a businessman and runs the Cafe Coffee Day chain.

Milestones

* Graduated from Maharaja’s College, Mysore
* Fullbright Scholar-Graduate student, George Washington University
* Prof of International Law, Renukacharya College, B’lore
* First time MLA from Praja Socialist Party, 1962
* First time MP (Lok Sabha) 1971
* Served as Union Minister of State, 1983-85
* Speaker, Legislative Assembly, Karnataka, 1989-92
* Deputy Chief Minister, 1992-94
* Chief Minister, 1999-2004
* Governor of Maharashtra, 2004-2008
* Rajya Sabha member, 2008

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