R. Gundu Rao

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R. Gundu Rao
9th Chief Minister of Karnataka
In office
12 January 1980 – 6 January 1983
Preceded by Devaraj Urs
Succeeded by Ramakrishna Hegde
Personal details
Born (1937-04-08)8 April 1937
Kushalanagar, Coorg Province, British India
Died 22 August 1993(1993-08-22) (aged 56)
London, United Kingdom
Political party Indian National Congress
Spouse(s) Varalakshmi
Children 3; including Dinesh

R. Gundu Rao (8 April 1937–22 August 1993) was the Chief Minister of Karnataka state from 1980 to 1983.

Rao was born in Kushalanagara in the erstwhile Coorg Province (now in Kodagu district of Karnataka) of British India on 8 April 1937.[1] His parents were K. Rama Rao and Chinnamma. His father was a Headmaster in a local school. He studied in Ammathi High school. He was a well-known Ball Badminton Player in Kodagu and had won numerous trophies.[2]

Rao began his political career as Town Municipality President of Kushalanagar, a position in which he served for ten years. Later, he was elected as MLA from Somwarpet in 1972 and 1978. He served as minister in the government of D. Devaraj Urs and also as a Leader of Opposition for a brief period.

He became Chief minister of Karnataka after the collapse of the Urs government. As Chief Minister, Gundu Rao was responsible for the construction of the Majestic bus station in Bangalore, which is today known as Kempegowda Bus Station.[3] He also sanctioned numerous Medical and Engineering Colleges in Karnataka. The Cauvery IInd Stage was completed within a year and half during his tenure. He was also responsible for the construction of the "Kala Mandira" in Mysore.[2]

The Gokak agitation seeking supremacy for Kannada in the administration and education of Karnataka as well as the police firing on farmers at Nargund and Navalgund were the low points during his tenure as Chief minister. While he was acknowledged as an efficient administrator, he was more well known for his flamboyance, boldness and outspokenness.[4][5]

Gundu Rao was also elected as a Member of Parliament from Bangalore South Constituency from 1989 to 1991.[2] He died of leukemia in London on 22 August 1993, aged 57. His son Dinesh Gundu Rao is currently serving as a legislator from Gandhinagar constituency in Bangalore[6] and minister for food and civil supplies.


  1. ^ "Members Bioprofile". Lok Sabha. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Charismatic Chief – Gundu Rao". Karnataka.com. 
  3. ^ "Profile of Late. Sri R Gundu Rao". Dinesh Gundu rao personal website. 
  4. ^ "`Gundu Rao was known for his boldness'". The Hindu. 26 Feb 2007. 
  5. ^ "Achievements of Gundu Rao significant, says Ananthamurthy". The Hindu. 5 Mar 2006. 
  6. ^ and a former minister for food and civil supplies."'Winning is all that ultimately matters to political parties'". Rediff on the net. 

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Preceded by
D. Devaraj Urs
Chief Minister of Karnataka
12 January 1980 - 6 January 1983
Succeeded by
Ramakrishna Hegde