S. Bangarappa is a well-known politician for more reasons than just being a politician. He had various tags and nicknames attached to him. Sarekoppa Bangarappa’s career of forty long years reached its pinnacle with his election as Chief Minister for the state of Karnataka.
His term as Chief Minister came after Veerendra Patil’s term and lasted between the 17th of October 1990 and the 19th of November 1992.
Bangarappa was succeeded by M. Veerappa Moily in the office of the Chief Minister.
The Start of a Long Political Career
Sarekoppa Bangarappa’s loyalty to political parties is often questioned as he hops parties at his whimsy. When he began his career however, his ideals and his zeal won him a lot of loyal admirers. His first step into the world of politics was becoming a member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in the 1967 elections.
Like most other politicians, S. Bangarappa had a Bachelor of Arts and law degree. He also has a diploma of social science. His educational background as many of his followers believe, led to his compassionate outlook. His outlook is attested by the schemes that he floated during his tenure as Chief Minister.
As a member of the Indian National Congress, Bangarappa was given the post of Home minister in 1977. This post was followed by a rapid nearly continuous flow of posts in succession.
- Cabinet minister
- President of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee
- Horticulture and Agriculture Minister
- Revenue and Agriculture Minister
- Chief Minister for Karnataka
Notably Bangarappa was elected to the post of being the leader of opposition in the Legislative Assembly, Karnataka. Bangarappa is nearly the only politician of his stature (having been a Chief Minister), known to jump parties like he did. He also started two separate political parties, The Karnataka Vikas Party and the Karnataka Congress party.
Bangarappa aligned himself with several parties, including the Indian National Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party, Janata Dal Secular, the Samajwadi Party and the parties that were initiated by him.
Despite switching and re-switching parties, Bangarappa managed to win elections time and again. Part of his win is credited to his personality and language that many followers identified with. His wins earned him the nickname of “Solilada Sardara” meaning an invincible leader.
Schemes for the Masses
Sarekoppa Bangarappa was a well-loved Chief Minister. His schemes and policies for the poor earned him respect and the unconditional love of the society. Amongst his schemes, the Aradhana, Ashraya and Vishwa schemes were implemented strongly throughout the State. The Aradhana scheme was meant to build and restore nearly 36,000 religious shrines of all the communities in Karnataka.
The Ashraya scheme was intended to rebuild and build housing for the underprivileged. This particular scheme was universally loved as the norms and implementation of the scheme was largely hassle-free and easy to implement.
The Vishwa scheme was intended to help raise small scale cottage industries and rural artisans to self-sustenance and give them financial aid. The Ashraya scheme developed by Bangarappa was implemented in Moily’s Government as well.
Scandals and Allegations
His term as Chief Minister, however successful was not without rumors and scandals. His association with Classik Computers brought him notoriety although the case did not hold up in the court.
The inability of the government led by Bangarappa to solve the raging Cauvery dispute during his tenure led to his falling out of favor for a while.
The allegations against him were cleared but the scandals marred his clean façade.
The Sports Enthusiast
A well-loved politician, Bangarappa indulged in sports regularly. His love for badminton as a sport was appreciated and applauded. He was known to carry his sports equipment with him in hopes of spare time to indulge in his interests. This love for the sport led to him pushing the construction of the well-known Karnataka Badminton Association’s K Raheja stadium.
The Karnataka Badminton Association building was constructed through the funds allocated by Bangarappa and the land allocated by Chief Minster Gundu Rao. He was instrumental in encouraging sports in the state by raising the state budget for sports.
The grants to sports associations were cleared during his tenure and he appointed quality coaches where necessary.
The Ekalavya award that recognizes the achievements of the state’s sport players at the international and national level was initiated by the beloved Bangarappa.
Through all the scandals and public fights in his family, Bangarappa today is remembered as a sports enthusiast who was interested in bettering the lives of the poor.