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Siddavanahalli Nijalingappa ( Kannada: ಸಿದ್ಧವನಹಳ್ಳಿ ನಿಜಲಿಂಗಪ್ಪ ) (December 10, 1902 – August 8, 2000, Chitradurga) was a senior Congress politician and the Chief Minister of Karnataka between 1956 and 1958 and once again between 1962 and 1968. Popularly known as S N, He played important roles in both the Indian freedom movement and the Karnataka Ekikarana movement.


Early life

S. Nijalingappa was born on December 10, 1902 in a middle-class Hindu Lingayat Banajiga family in a small village in the Bellary district, Mysore State. He graduated from the Central College, Bangalore, in 1924, and got his Law degree from the Law College, Poona, in 1926.


Nijalingappa's political career started in 1936. He used to attend the Congress sessions as a spectator. It was in 1936, when Nijalingappa came into contact with Dr. N. S. Hardikar, that he began to take an active interest in the organization. He served it first as a volunteer, rising to be the President of the Pradesh Congress Committee and finally the President of the All India Congress Committee in 1968.

He became president of the Mysore Congress and later president of the Indian National Congress from 1968 to 1971. He was a member of the historic Constituent Assembly 1946-1950 and also a member of Parliament from the Chitaldrug constituency (now Chitradurga) between 1952 to 1957. Nijalingappa served thrice as chief minister of Mysore and Karnataka and has been described as the ‘Maker of Modern Karnataka[1]. The state owes much to him for development of agricultural, irrigation, industrial and transport projects.After giving up active politics, he served as chairman, Sardar Valabhbai Patel Society.

He was the last president of undivided Indian National Congress and had to see, his party being split into Congress(I) and Congress (S) or Syndicate Congress.

Tibetans fondly remember this great leader. When he was the Chief Minister of Karnataka (year? 1960s), he gave land to Tibetan refugees for them to resettle. Karnataka today has the largest Tibetan settlements and the largest population in exile. Bylakuppe (six hours from Bangalore), Mundgod (two hours from Hubli), Kollegal and Gurupura (near Bylakuppe) are four settlements in Karnataka.

References and sources




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