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Wednesday, August 09, 2000

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Nijalingappa dead


By Our Special Correspondent

BANGALORE, AUG. 8. Elder Statesman and former Chief Minister, Mr. S. Nijalingappa, died at 10.35 p.m. at his residence ``Vinaya'' in Chitradurga today. He was admitted to the Bowring Hospital here on July 15 following a fracture sustained at his home in Chitradurga. He was shifted back to Chitradurga on July 27 after he expressed a wish to return there.

He is survived by three sons and six daughters. His wife, Murugamma, died over a decade ago. Among his sons-in-law are Mr. M.V. Rajashekaran, the Congress(I) MLC and KPCC vice-president, and Mr. S.B. Muddappa, the former Chief Secretary. His youngest son, Mr. Kiran Shankar, is the Chief Government Architect.

The grand old man of Karnataka and an architect of the enlarged State, Mr. Nijalingappa was born on December 10, 1902. A former president of the Indian National Congress (undivided), he was the Chief Minister of Mysore (Karnataka) for a total period of seven years.

He was best known for his uncompromising and sustained opposition to Ms. Indira Gandhi and the Congress split of 1969 came about when he was the AICC president. But for the firm stand he took against Ms. Indira Gandhi, many of the changes in the post-1969 political scene might not have come about. He had retired from active politics for almost 25 years now and was toying with the idea of reviving the Gandhian Congress. The last election he fought was in 1967.

Only recently his biography in English authored by Prof. Raghavendra Rao of Dharwad had been released and it gives an insight into the tumultuous political events of the sixties and seventies.

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