S. R. Bommai

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S. R. Bommai
Somappa Rayappa Bommai 132.jpg
Minister of Human Resource Development
In office
5 June 1996 – 19 March 1998
Prime MinisterH. D. Deve Gowda
I. K. Gujral
Preceded byAtal Bihari Vajpayee
Succeeded byMurali Manohar Joshi
11th Chief Minister of Karnataka
In office
13 August 1988 – 21 April 1989
Preceded byRamakrishna Hegde
Succeeded byPresident's rule
Member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly
for Hubli Rural
In office
Preceded byG. Rangaswamy Sandra
Succeeded byG. Rangaswamy Sandra
Personal details
Born(1924-06-06)6 June 1924
Karadagi, Shiggaon (in present-day Haveri), Kingdom of Mysore, British India
Died10 October 2007(2007-10-10) (aged 83)
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Political partyJanata Party
Children4; including Basavaraj

Somappa Rayappa Bommai (6 June 1924 – 10 October 2007) was an Indian Politician who was the 11th Chief Minister of Karnataka . He was also the Human Resource Development Minister in the United Front government from 1996 to 1998.[1]


S.R.Bommai was born on 6 June 1924 in a Sadar Lingayat family at Karadagi village of Shiggaon taluk of the then undivided Dharwad District. He took part in the Quit India movement of 1942. He also played an active role in the unification (Ekikarana in Kannada) of Karnataka which had been divided into Mysore kingdom, Bombay Presidency, Hyderabad, and Madras Presidency, during the British rule.[2]

A lawyer by profession, he was elected to the Karnataka Legislative assembly many times from the Hubballi rural constituency and was also a member of the Karnataka Legislative council from 1972 to 1978.

He along with Ramakrishna Hegde, J. H. Patel and H. D. Deve Gowda — was instrumental in the Janata Party forming a government in the State for the first time in the State in 1983.[3] He was given the weighty portfolio of Industries in the Ramakrishna Hegde government. After Hegde quit on moral grounds, Mr. Bommai took charge as Chief Minister of the State on August 13, 1988 and his government was dismissed by the then Governor, P. Venkatasubbaiah, on April 21, 1989. The dismissal was on the grounds that his government had lost its majority following large-scale defections engineered by several Janata Party leaders of the day. Bommai had sought some time from the Governor to prove his majority on the floor of the Legislature and he was denied this. He challenged this order in the Supreme Court.[4]

S. R. Bommai v. Union of India was a landmark judgment of the Supreme Court of India, where the Court discussed at length, the provisions of Article 356 of the Constitution of India and related issues. The apex court spelt out restrictions on the Centre's power to dismiss a state government under Article 356.[5] This case had huge impact on Centre-State Relations. Instances of imposition of President's rule have reduced after this judgement.[6]

Bommai was National president of the Janata Dal from 1990 to 1996. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha, two times in 1992 and 1998.[7] In 1996, he became the Union minister for Human resource development in the United Front government and served with both the prime ministers H. D. Deve Gowda and I. K. Gujral. In 1999, after the Janata Dal split, he sided with the JD(U) faction and later formed the All India Progressive Janata Dal in 2002, as a platform for merger of different factions of Janata Dal.[8][9] However, after large scale defections, the weakened party was finally merged with JD(U).[10]

He died on October 10, 2007, aged 84.[11] His one son, M.S.Bommai is an industrialist in Bangalore, and the other Basavaraj Bommai inherited his political legacy and went on to become a minister in the Bharatiya Janata Party government in 2008.

Preceded by
Ramakrishna Hegde
Chief Minister of Karnataka
13 August 1988 - 21 April 1989
Succeeded by
President's rule
Preceded by
Atal Bihari Vajpayee (as Prime minister)
Human Resource Development Minister
5 June 1996 - 19 March 1998
Succeeded by
Murli Manohar Joshi


  1. ^ "List of former Ministers in charge of Education/HRD". Government of India.
  2. ^ "Bommai receives Ekikarana Award". The Hindu. Jan 10, 2007.
  3. ^ "Former CM S R Bommai - the Man, Life and Career". Daijiworld.
  4. ^ "S.R. Bommai passes away". The Hindu. Oct 11, 2007.
  5. ^ "S.R. Bommai vs Union Of India on 11 March, 1994". Indian Kanoon.
  6. ^ "Protecting secularism and federal fair play". Frontline.
  7. ^ "Bommai, Oscar and Naidu will make it to RS from Karnataka". Rediff on the net.
  8. ^ "Janata Dal leader Bommai floats new party". The Times of India. Dec 11, 2002.
  9. ^ "JD factions float All-India Janata Dal". The Times of India. Dec 11, 2002.
  10. ^ "AIPJD agrees to merge with JDU". The Times of India. Mar 12, 2004.
  11. ^ "S R Bommai passes away". The Times of India. Oct 11, 2007.