N. Dharam Singh

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N. Dharam Singh
17th Chief Minister of Karnataka
In office
28 May 2004 – 3 February 2006
Preceded by S. M. Krishna
Succeeded by H. D. Kumaraswamy
Constituency Jevargi
Personal details
Born (1936-12-25) 25 December 1936 (age 77)
Nelogi, Jevargi, Gulbarga
Political party Indian National Congress
Spouse(s) Prabhavati Dharam Singh
As of 28 May, 2008
Source: [http:/dharam singh]

Narayan Singh Dharam Singh (born 25 December 1936) is an Indian politician who was the 17th Chief Minister of Karnataka, a state in southern India. He was a Member of Parliament representing Bidar in the 15th Lok Sabha.

Early life and family[edit]

Dharam Singh was born in Nelogi village of Jevargi taluk in Gulbarga District.[1] He obtained his MA and LLB degrees from Osmania University, Hyderabad. He practised as an advocate before entering politics. He is married to Smt.Prabhavati Dharamsingh and the couple have two sons Vijaysingh and Dr.Ajaysingh and a daughter Priyadarshini.

Political career[edit]

Dharam Singh began his long innings in politics as an Independent Corporator in the Gulbarga City Municipal Council.He started his political carrier as a socialist.He was brought up under the pulsating influence of Bhim Sena founder B.Shyam Sunder. In fact he was his election agent of Shyam Sunder who contested for Parliament seat for Gulbarga and Bidar and toured with him Gulbarga and Bidar district. He was the Secretary of Hyderabad Karnataka Youth league and launched a movement for Hyderabad Karnataka In the late 1960s, he joined the Indian National Congress and has remained a staunch loyalist since then, without deserting the party even when it passed through its worst times.

He even gave up the Gulbarga Lok Sabha seat of which he was the Member of Parliament to accommodate C.M. Stephen, the then Union Minister in the Indira Gandhi Cabinet in 1980 on Indira Gandhi's directions.[2]

He has served as a minister under various Chief ministers such as Devaraj Urs, R. Gundu Rao, S. Bangarappa, M. Veerappa Moily and S. M. Krishna, and has handled diverse portfolios such as Home, Excise, Social Welfare, Urban Development and Revenue.

He was KPCC president in the 1990s when his party was out of power. At that time, the Congress' national leadership was headed by Sitaram Kesri, for whom Singh was said to be a favorite.

He lost out to his senior colleague S.M.Krishna in the race to the Chief Minister's post in 1999. Then, he joined the Krishna ministry and handled the Public Works Department portfolio.

When the 2004 state elections resulted in a hung assembly with no party getting enough seats to form a government, the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) (JD(S)) parties decided to come together and form a coalition government. Known for his adaptability and friendly nature, Dharam Singh was the unanimous choice of both parties to head the government.[3] He was sworn in as Chief Minister on 28 May 2004.[4] He was the second leader from Gulbarga to become Chief minister after the late Veerendra Patil. For almost 20 months, he led the fragile coalition through many ups and downs. He was criticised for not being assertive and for allowing the JD(S), which was the junior partner in the coalition to call the shots in the government.[5] He left office on 3 February 2006 after the collapse of the Coalition government formed by the Congress (I) due to a defection in the JD(S) engineered by H.D. Kumaraswamy, who succeeded him as Chief minister leading a new coalition with the BJP.[6]

During the tenure of H.D. Kumaraswamy, he was the Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.[7] However, In the 2008 state elections he was defeated by a political lightweight - Doddappagouda Patil Naribol of the BJP by a slim margin of 52 votes.[8]

In Loksabha elections held in May 2009, he contested from Bidar Lok Sabha constituency and emerged victorious against his former colleague Gurupadappa Nagamarpalli of the BJP by a margin of 39,619 votes.[9]

Positions held[edit]

Criticism and Controversy[edit]

The Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Nitte Santosh Hegde in 2008 has 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 is at fault for allowing illegal mining in "patta" lands.[10] The Lokayukta had also asked for the amount caused as loss to be recovered from Dharam Singh.[11]


  1. ^ "'Invincible' Dharam Singh". Karnataka.com. Karnataka.com. Archived from the original on 2007-08-10. Retrieved 2007-07-08. 
  2. ^ "Gulbarga elected Indira Gandhi's close aide 'Stephen'". 
  3. ^ "Dharam Singh chosen leader of CLP". The Times of India. 24 May 2004. 
  4. ^ "Dharam Singh, Siddaramaiah sworn in". The Hindu. 29 May 2004. 
  5. ^ "As Dharam Singh fights to keep his chair, Deve Gowda calls shots in Karnataka". The Indian Express. 21 October 2005. 
  6. ^ "Dharam Singh resigns as Karnataka CM". 
  7. ^ "Dharam Singh will be Leader of the Opposition: Kharge". The Hindu. 31 January 2006. 
  8. ^ "Dharam Singh's defeat stuns admirers". The Hindu. 
  9. ^ "Dharam singh wins from Bidar". 
  10. ^ "Lokayutka report indicts Dharam Singh, 11 officials". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 23 December 2008. 
  11. ^ "Mines of scandal". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
S.M. Krishna
Chief Minister of Karnataka
28-May-2004 - 02-Feb-2006
Succeeded by
H. D. Kumaraswamy