He died of a heart attack.

Former Karnataka CM Dharam Singh passes away he was 80Image source: Karnataka.com
news Death Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 12:13

Former Karnataka Chief Minister, Dharam Singh, passed away on Thursday after he suffered a heart attack. He was 80 years old.

Dharam Singh was admitted to the MS Ramaiah Hospital. The Congress leader was in poor health for several months now, and was admitted twice this year. Once in February and the second time in April.

He is survived by two sons and a daughter. His son Ajay Singh is an MLA from the Jevargi constituency and his other son, Vijay Singh is an MLC. 

Condolences poured in from political leaders across the country, with the Prime Minister's office paying tribute to the former CM.

CM Siddaramaiah tweeted saying "The death of former Chief Minister of Kanataka and Congress leader, Dharam Singh, has caused us immense pain. I offer my condolences to his family members."

Dharam Singh was the 17th Chief Minister of Karnataka and he served between 2004 and 2006.

An eight-time MLA, Dharam Singh, hailed from a small Rajput community in Gulbarga District Singh and held a Master of Arts degree. He was also a trained lawyer from Osmania University.

He started his political career as an independent corporator in Gulbarga district, where he contested and won against his own brother.

Dharam Singh was the secretary of the Hyderabad-Karnataka Youth league. He joined the Indian National Congress in the late 1960s.

Between 1968 and 1988, he was the Chairman of the Gulbarga City Municipal Corporation.

In 1978, he first entered the Karnataka Assembly after winning the polls from the Jevargi constituency.

In 1980 Dharam Singh was a Lok Sabha member from the Gulbarga constituency. His tenure in national politics was cut short when he gave up the seat for CM Stephen, the then Home Minister under Indira Gandhi, who lost an election to Atal Bihar Vajpayee. 

In the same year, he became an MP for the first time winning the Kalburgi Lok Sabha seat.

On May 28, 2004, he became the Chief Minister of Karnataka and resigned on 28 January, 2006, after the JD(S), under HD Kumaraswamy, withdrew support to his government.

A two-time MP and eight-time MLA, Dharma Singh retired from politics, after his loss in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Dharam Signh with SM Krishna

He has held several ministerial portfolios in Karnataka including Home, Excise, Social Welfare, Urban Development and Revenue.

A profile by The Hindu says he was an avid listener who knew the names of all voters in his constituency. In the story, TH traces Dharam Singh, the leader who woke up early in the morning and walked for kilometres in the Bidar constituency, meeting and greeting people. 

Dharam Singh was also instrumentally involved in the project to develop the Hyderabad Karnataka region. He played an important role in the amendment of Article 371 (j) to secure benefits for the people of the H-K region, and was also responsible for the   the establishment of the Hyderabad Karnataka Region Development Board. 

Screenshot; News9

Controversies

The former CM was alleged to be involved in the state’s illegal iron ore mining case (Janthakal scam) along with another former CM HD Kumaraswamy.  

In 2012, the Karnataka High Court directed the Lokayukta to investigate contracts awarded by the state government between 1999 and 2004.

It was alleged that the company was allowed to mine in 11,797 square kilometres of forest land in Bellary district that was de-reserved in contravention with laws and a Supreme Court order.

A local court had ordered registering of a FIR agaisnt him and former CMs SM Krishna and HD Kumaraswamy in connection with the alleged illegal mining.

Former Karnataka Lokayukta, Santosh Hegde had implicated Dharam Singh in his report on the illegal mining case.

The SIT probing the case had got permission from the Supreme Court, on March 29, to question Dharam Singh.

On the basis of the Lokayukta report, the Karnataka High Court has ordered a recovery of Rs 23 crore from him for losses caused to the exchequer in the transportation of illegally extracted iron ore. He had approached the Supreme Court for relief.

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