Bengaluru, Mar 27, 2018 : Even before Karnataka goes to polls, Siddaramaiah has already entered the history books. Siddaramaiah will finish a full 5-year term before the elections are conducted, making him the second Chief Minister of the state to achieve this landmark. And this is happening after a long gap of 40 years.
Siddaramaiah was sworn in as chief minister on 13 May 2013 and will continue to hold the post until the elections. In the history of Karnataka, except for Siddaramaiah and Devaraj Urs, no other Karnataka CM has served a full term. In case of other governments, they were either dissolved earlier or had multiple chief ministers.
After the announcement of the election dates, some pointed out that Siddaramaiah will miss out the landmark by one day, as he was sworn in as the CM on 13 May 2013 and the elections, this year, will be conducted on 12 May. However, political experts pointed out that the government’s tenure is counted from election to election.
Although S Nijalingappa, who was the first and fourth Chief Minister of state of Mysore, after reorganisation of the states, had served five years (1962-1968) as chief minister, he did so as part of two different governments. However, Devaraj Urs and Siddaramaiah finished their term of five years in the same government.
The First Chief Minister to Serve a Full Five-Year Term
The next CM to do so was Devaraj Urs, who came to power in 1972 and served for 5 years and 286 days before fighting the next election in 1978.
He served two terms as the eight CM of Karnataka (1972–77 and 1978–80). He is credited with bringing land reforms to the state and helping Indira Gandhi get re-elected from Chikkamangaluru, after her political eclipse.
If He Wins, Siddaramaiah Will Rank After Urs in Yet Another Record
While Siddaramaiah has entered one record book, another awaits him if he gets re-elected. In the history of the state, only one chief minister has been re-elected to power after serving a full 5-year-term. Urs was the only CM in the history of the state to have been re-elected in 1978, after serving the full five-year term.
Siddaramaiah and Urs have few other factors in common as well. Both used the AHINDA vote bank (Kannada acronym for minorities, backward classes and Dalits) as part of their poll strategy.
Urs joined the Indira faction of the Congress, following the party’s split in 1969. He won the 1972 election due to Indira Gandhi’s popularity, but as the Lingayat and Vokkaliga leaders had gone with the other faction, he created the AHINDA vote bank to counter them.
He was the first CM to win the election because of the AHINDA vote bank, in 1978. Forty years later, even Siddaramaiah is heavily depending on the AHINDA vote bank, to return to power.