S. R. Bommai

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S. R. Bommai
Union Minister of Human Resource Development
In office
5 June 1996 – 19 March 1998
Prime MinisterH. D. Deve Gowda
I. K. Gujral
Preceded byAtal Bihari Vajpayee
Succeeded byMurli Manohar Joshi
ConstituencyOrissa (Rajya Sabha)
4th Chief Minister of Karnataka
In office
13 August 1988 – 21 April 1989
Preceded byRamakrishna Hegde
Succeeded byPresident's rule
Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
In office
2 July 1992 – 2 April 1998
In office
3 April 1998 – 2 April 2004
Member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly
for Hubli Rural
In office
Preceded byG. Rangaswamy Sandra
Succeeded byG. Rangaswamy Sandra
Personal details
Born(1924-06-06)6 June 1924
Karadagi, Bombay Presidency, British India
Died10 October 2007(2007-10-10) (aged 83)
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Political partyAll India Progressive Janata Dal(2002-2007)
Other political
Children4; including Basavaraj Bommai

Somappa Rayappa Bommai (6 June 1924 – 10 October 2007) was an Indian Politician who was the 4th Chief Minister of Karnataka. He was also the Human Resource Development Minister in the United Front government from 1996 to 1998.[2] He is widely remembered as the champion for the landmark judgment of the Supreme Court of India, S. R. Bommai v. Union of India.[3][4][5]

His son Basavaraj Bommai became the Chief Minister of Karnataka in 2021 making them only the second father and son duo after H. D. Devegowda and H. D. Kumaraswamy to become the Chief Ministers of Karnataka.[6]

Early life and political career[edit]

S. R. Bommai was born on 6 June 1924 in a Sadar Lingayat family at Karadagi village of Shiggaon taluk of the then undivided Dharwad District. He took part in the Quit India movement of 1942. He also played an active role in the unification (Ekikarana in Kannada) of Karnataka which had been spread among Mysore kingdom, Bombay Presidency, Hyderabad, and Madras Presidency, during the British rule.[7]

A lawyer by profession, he was elected to the Karnataka Legislative assembly many times from the Hubballi rural constituency and was also a member of the Karnataka Legislative council from 1972 to 1978.

He along with Ramakrishna Hegde, J. H. Patel and H. D. Deve Gowda — was instrumental in the Janata Party forming a government in the State for the first time in the State in 1983.[8] He was given the weighty portfolio of Industries in the Ramakrishna Hegde government. After Hegde quit on moral grounds, Mr. Bommai took charge as Chief Minister of the State on 13 August 1988 and his government was dismissed by the then Governor, P. Venkatasubbaiah, on 21 April 1989. The dismissal was on the grounds that his government had lost its majority following large-scale defections engineered by several Janata Party leaders of the day. Bommai had sought some time from the Governor to prove his majority on the floor of the Legislature and he was denied this. He challenged this order in the Supreme Court.[9]

S. R. Bommai was the president of Karnataka state unit until the state unit got merged with Janata Dal in 1993 before 1994 Karnataka Assembly elections.[10]

S. R. Bommai v. Union of India case[edit]

S. R. Bommai v. Union of India was a landmark judgment of the Supreme Court of India, where the Court discussed at length, the provisions of Article 356 of the Constitution of India and related issues. The apex court spelt out restrictions on the centre's power to dismiss a state government under Article 356.[11] This case had huge impact on Centre-State Relations. Instances of imposition of President's rule have reduced after this judgement.[12]

Bommai was National president of the Janata Dal from 1990 to 1996. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha, two times in 1992 and 1998.[13] In 1996, he became the Union minister for Human resource development in the United Front government and served with both the prime ministers H. D. Deve Gowda and I. K. Gujral. In 1999, after the Janata Dal split, he sided with the JD(U) faction and later formed the All India Progressive Janata Dal in 2002, as a platform for merger of different factions of Janata Dal.[14][15] However, after large scale defections, the weakened party was finally merged with JD(U).[16]

He died on 10 October 2007, aged 84.[17] His one son, M.S. Bommai is an industrialist in Bengaluru, and the other Basavaraj Bommai inherited his political legacy and went on to become the Chief Minister of Karnataka on 28 July 2021.


  1. ^ "S. R. Bommai". www.kla.kar.nic.in. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  2. ^ "List of former Ministers in charge of Education/HRD". Government of India. Archived from the original on 18 October 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  3. ^ "As Basavaraj Bommai rises, how his father changed the course of Indian politics". Hindustan Times. 29 July 2021.
  4. ^ "What is the S.R. Bommai case, and why is it quoted often?". The Hindu. 18 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Bommai verdict: A law for all time". Deccan Herald. August 2021.
  6. ^ "Basavaraj Bommai to be latest in father-son duo club to occupy CM's chair". The Times of India.
  7. ^ "Bommai receives Ekikarana Award". The Hindu. 10 January 2007. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007.
  8. ^ "Former CM S R Bommai - the Man, Life and Career". Daijiworld.
  9. ^ "S.R. Bommai passes away". The Hindu. 11 October 2007. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007.
  10. ^ SARITHA RAI (31 July 1993). "Ramakrishna Hegde and H.D. Deve Gowda patch up in Karnataka". India Today. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  11. ^ "S.R. Bommai vs Union Of India on 11 March, 1994". Indian Kanoon.
  12. ^ "Protecting secularism and federal fair play". Frontline.
  13. ^ "Bommai, Oscar and Naidu will make it to RS from Karnataka". Rediff on the net.
  14. ^ "Janata Dal leader Bommai floats new party". The Times of India. 11 December 2002. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013.
  15. ^ "JD factions float All-India Janata Dal". The Times of India. 11 December 2002. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013.
  16. ^ "AIPJD agrees to merge with JDU". The Times of India. 12 March 2004. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013.
  17. ^ "S R Bommai passes away". The Times of India. 11 October 2007. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013.
Preceded by Chief Minister of Karnataka
13 August 1988 – 21 April 1989
Succeeded by
President's rule
Preceded by
Atal Bihari Vajpayee (as Prime minister)
Human Resource Development Minister
5 June 1996 – 19 March 1998
Succeeded by