S. Nijalingappa

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4th Chief Minister of Karnataka
In office
1 November 1956 – 16 May 1958
Governor Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar
Preceded by Kadidal Manjappa
Succeeded by B. D. Jatti
In office
21 June 1962 – 29 May 1968
Governor Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar
Satyawant Mallannah Shrinagesh
V. V. Giri
Gopal Swarup Pathak
Preceded by S. R. Kanthi
Succeeded by Veerendra Patil
Personal details
Born (1902-12-10)10 December 1902
Siddavanahalli, Chitradurga
Died 8 August 2000(2000-08-08) (aged 97)
Political party Indian National Congress

Siddavanahalli Nijalingappa (10 December 1902 – 8 August 2000, Chitradurga) was a senior Congress politician and the Chief Minister of Karnataka (then Mysore State) between 1956 and 1958 and once again, between 1962 and 1968. He played an important role in the Indian freedom movement as well as in the Karnataka Unification movement.

Early life[edit]

S. Nijalingappa was born on 10 December 1902 in a middle-class Lingayat family in a village called Haluwagalu(ಹಲುವಾಗಲು) in Harapanahalli taluk, then Bellary district & now in Davangere district. He graduated in arts from the Central College, Bengaluru during this time stayed in Rao Bahadhur Dharmapravartha Gubbi Thotadappa hostel (1921-1924), in 1924 and got his Law degree from the Law College, Poona in 1926. As a child, he was given a traditional education by an old teacher named Veerappa Master. Thus, like the other leaders of the Indian Freedom Movement, he also had a unique blend of both traditional and modern education. The life and the vachanas of Basaveshwar and the philosophy of Shankaracharya, as well as the course of the Indian Freedom Movement and the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi had the utmost effect on his mind.

Political career[edit]

Nijalingappa attended the Congress sessions as a spectator. It was in 1936, when he came into contact with Dr. N. S. Hardikar, that he began to take an active interest in the organization. He served it first as a volunteer, rising to be the President of the Pradesh Congress Committee and finally the President of the All India Congress Committee in 1968.

He became president of the Mysore Congress and was also a member of the historic Constituent Assembly from 1946 to 1950. Later, he was elected as a member of the first Lok Sabha from the Chitaldrug constituency (now Chitradurga) in 1952.

The services rendered by Nijalingappa towards the unification of Karnataka was enormous, and in recognition of the same, he was chosen as the first Chief Minister of the unified state. Then again for the second time, he was elected to the same responsible post and he continued in that post up to April 1968. He may well be called the Maker of Modern Karnataka. The state owes much to him for development of agricultural, irrigation, industrial and transport projects.[1]

He became the Congress President when people in many parts of the country had expressed their distrust in it in the 1967 elections. He chaired two Congress sessions in 1968 and 1969 held in Hyderabad and Faridabad respectively. Due to his untiring efforts, the Congress Party was re-invigorated. However, the factional feud between various factions of the party increased and finally resulted in the historic split of the party in 1969.[2] He was the last president of undivided Indian National Congress and had to see, his party being split into Congress(Ruling) supporting Indira Gandhi and Congress (Organization) or Syndicate Congress consisting of senior leaders like Nijalingappa himself, Kamaraj, Morarji Desai and others.[3]

After the Congress split, Nijalingappa gradually retired from politics. After giving up active politics, he served as chairman of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Society. He was widely revered even after his retirement and was known for his simplicity and integrity.[4] He died on 9 August 2000 at his residence in Chitradurga at the age of 97.[5]

He is fondly remembered in the Tibetan community of India because as Chief Minister of Karnataka, he gave land to Tibetan refugees for the purpose of resettlement. Karnataka today has the largest Tibetan settlements and the largest population in exile. Bylakuppe (six hours from Bangalore), Mundgod (two hours from Hubli), Kollegal and Gurupura (near Bylakuppe) are the four Tibetan settlements in Karnataka.[6]


The memorial of Nijalingappa built beside NH-4 on the outskirts of Chitradurga near Sibara was inaugurated by the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama on 29 January 2011.[7] Meanwhile, Karnataka chief minister B. S. Yeddyurappa declared that he would name the Sugar research institute at Belgaum after Nijalingappa.[8]


  1. ^ "NIJALINGAPPA – ARCHITECT OF KARNATAKA" (PDF). presidentvenkatraman.in. 
  2. ^ Split in a Predominant Party: The Indian National Congress in 1969. Google book results. 
  3. ^ "Split in the Congress". Indiansaga. 
  4. ^ "Wearing simplicity on the sleeve". Deccan Herald. 6 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "Nijalingappa dead". The Hindu. 9 August 2000. 
  6. ^ "His Holiness the Dalai Lama Remembers Former Chief Minister Nijalingappa". Central Tibetan Administration. 
  7. ^ "S. Nijalingappa memorial to be dedicated to the nation today". The Hindu. 29 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "Sugar institute named after Nijalingappa". The Hindu. 28 August 2010. 

External links[edit]

  • [1] S.Nijalingappa biography
Political offices
Preceded by
Kadidal Manjappa
Chief Minister of Karnataka
1 November 1956 to 16 May 1958
Succeeded by
B. D. Jatti
Preceded by
S. R. Kanthi
Chief Minister of Karnataka
21 June 1962 to 29 May 1968
Succeeded by
Veerendra Patil