Open main menu

The Governor of Karnataka is the constitutional head of the south Indian state of Karnataka. The governor is appointed by the President of India for a term of five years, and holds office at the President's pleasure. The governor is de jure head of the Government of Karnataka; all its executive actions are taken in the governor's name. However, the governor must act on the advice of the popularly elected council of ministers, headed by the Chief Minister of Karnataka, which thus holds de facto executive authority in the state. The Constitution of India also empowers the governor to act upon his or her own discretion, such as the ability to appoint or dismiss a ministry, recommend President's rule, or reserve bills for the President's assent. Over the years, the exercise of these discretionary powers have given rise to conflict between the elected chief minister and the central government–appointed governor.[1]

Governor of Karnataka
ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ರಾಜ್ಯಪಾಲರು
Emblem of India.svg
Flag of India.svg
Governor of Karnataka Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala.jpg
Vajubhai Vala

since 1 September 2014
StyleThe Honourable, His Excellency
ResidenceRaj Bhavan, Bengaluru
AppointerPresident of India
Term lengthFive years
Inaugural holderJayachamarajendra Wadiyar
Formation1 November 1956
(62 years ago)

Since 1956, eighteen people have served as the Governor of Mysore (as the state was known before 1 November 1973) and Karnataka. The first was Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar, previously the Maharaja of Mysore (1940–50) and the Rajpramukh of Mysore (1950–56). A majority of Karnataka's governors have been politicians (ten), another five have been civil servants. V. V. Giri went on become the fourth President of India, and Gopal Swarup Pathak the country's fourth Vice President.

Governors of Mysore and KarnatakaEdit

No Name Term of office Selected former office(s)
1   Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar 1 November 1957 4 May 1963 Maharaja of Mysore, Rajpramukh of Mysore
2   S. M. Shrinagesh 4 May 1963 2 April 1965 Chief of the Army Staff
3   Bharat Ratna V. V. Giri 2 April 1965 13 May 1967 Fourth President of India
4 Gopal Swarup Pathak 13 May 1967 30 August 1969 Fourth Vice-President of India
5 Padma Vibhushan Sir

Dharma Vira

23 October 1970 1 February 1972 Governor of Punjab, Haryana, and Bengal
6   Chief Minister

Mohanlal Sukhadia

1 February 1972 10 January 1975 Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Governor of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu
7 Uma Shankar Dikshit 10 January 1975 2 August 1977 Governor of Bengal and the Minister of Home Affairs
8 Govind Narain


2 August 1977 15 April 1982 First and the only member of the Imperial Civil Service to have been appointed and served as Governor of Karnataka
9 Ashoknath Banerji


16 April 1982 25 February 1987 First member of the Indian Administrative Service to have served in this office
10 Pendekanti Venkatasubbaiah 26 February 1987 5 February 1990 Governor of Bihar, Minister of Home and Parliamentary Affairs
11 Bhanu Pratap Singh 8 May 1990 6 January 1992 Member of Parliament
12 Khurshed Alam Khan 6 January 1992 2 December 1999 Member of Parliament, Governor of Goa
13   Commissioner

V. S. Ramadevi

2 December 1999 20 August 2002 Chief Election Commissioner of India, Secretary General of Rajya Sabha, Governor of Himachal Pradesh, the first and only female governor of Karnataka
14 Padma Vibhushan

Auditor General

T. N. Chaturvedi


21 August 2002 20 August 2007 Comptroller and Auditor General of India
15 Rameshwar Thakur 21 August 2007 24 June 2009 Governor of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh
16 Hans Raj Bhardwaj 24 June 2009 29 June 2014 Union Minister of Law and Justice, Governor of Kerala
17   Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala 1 September 2014 Incumbent Speaker of Gujarat Vidhan Sabha


  1. ^ Durga Das Basu. Introduction to the Constitution of India. 1960. 20th edition, 2011 reprint. LexisNexis Butterworths Wadhwa Nagpur. ISBN 978-81-8038-559-9. p. 237, 241–44. Note: although the text talks about Indian state governments in general, it applies for the specific case of Karnataka as well.

External linksEdit