Known as a straight-laced politician, AK Subbaiah served as the Congress Member of the Legislative Council between 1988 and 1994. Prior to joining the Congress, AK Subbaiah was the first Karnataka state President of the BJP.
In 1980, when the party emerged as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with the intent to gain ground in Karnataka, which was a Congress stronghold, AK Subbaiah was elected the state President at the Lalbagh Silver Jubilee Hall. AK Subbaiah is credited with getting young RSS cadre to join the BJP and work for the party in Karnataka.
A party that had a negligible presence in the state, Subbaiah managed to turn the partyâ€™s fortunes around. In the 1983 Assembly election, the BJP, for the first time, won 18 out of the 110 seats it contested under his leadership.
AK Subbaiah attributed the growth of BJP in the state to his efforts and he strongly criticised RSS workers. This resulted in the BJP expelling him from the party. Known as an honest politician, Subbaiah was also responsible for exposing nepotism and corruption in the former Chief Minister R Gundu Raoâ€™s government.
CM Ibrahim, a former minister in R Gundu Raoâ€™s cabinet had in 1981 boasted about the UAE Minister for Justice, Al Bakr, giving him a Rolex watch, a gift whose price exceeds the value limit permitted under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act. When the then Shivamogga SP, BN Nagaraj, had registered a case against Ibrahim, he was transferred to Bengaluru. NB Bhat, Deputy IGP who had a hand in the charge-sheeting of Ibrahim was asked to go on leave. At the time, AK Subbaiah had exposed the nepotism and corruption in the R Gundu Rao cabinet.
After he was expelled from the BJP, Subbaiah started the Kannada Nadu Party, which did not succeed in the state. In 2004, he contested the Lok Sabha election on a JD(S) ticket from Kodagu and lost the segment.
Born in Virajpet in 1936, Subbaiah was an advocate by profession before entering politics. He has written books including a book on the RSS titled "RSS Antharanga" in Kannada. Although he began his political career in the BJP, he later turned into a critic of the party.