A small city councillor who went on to become CM

A small city councillor who went on to become CM

Dharam Singh won 7 Assembly polls in a row from Jewargi

A small city councillor who went on to become CM
A political stalwart from Hyderabad-Karnataka region, former chief minister N Dharam Singh, who belonged to the microscopic Rajaput (Kshatriya) community, was born in Nelogi village of Jewargi taluk in the district on December 25, 1936.

After initial schooling in Nelogi village, Singh studied at Government High School in Asif Ganj in Kalaburagi and obtained a degree in Arts from the lone Government Degree College in the city. He went on to obtain MA (Hindi) and LLB degrees from Osmania University in Hyderabad.
Singh, who had a penchant for ‘Shayaris,’ showed his leadership qualities from college days when he was student leader. However, his political career began when he was elected as councillor of the Gulbarga Town Municipal Council in 1968 as an Independent candidate.

A year later, he joined the Congress party (Indira faction) and remained a staunch party loyalist till his death. He won the Assembly election for the first time from the Jewargi constituency in 1972 and from then was elected to the Assembly for seven consecutive times till his defeat in 2008. He had also held the post of KPCC president.

A loyal party leader, in 1980 he gave up his MP seat from Gulbarga to accomodate Congress leader from Kerala C M Stephen, then a Union minister, on the directions of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

The soft-spoken Singh is also known to have not sent anybody empty handed from this house. He is said to have helped even his rivals without carrying any animosity.

When the 2004 elections threw up a hung Assembly, the Congress-JD(S) coalition government came into existence with Singh being sworn in as the 17th chief minister of the state. He was chief minister for 20 months. Singh was the second politician from Kalaburagi district after the late Veerendra Patil to become chief minister.

In a major political set back, he lost the Assembly election from Jewargi to BJP’s Doddappagouda Patil Naribol by a wafer thin margin (70 votes) in 2008. A year later, he successfully contested the Lok Sabha elections from Bidar. However, he lost the election in 2014. Singh had served as a minister under various chief ministers, including D Devaraj Urs, R Gundu Rao, S Bangarappa, M Veerappa Moily and S M Krishna.

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