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Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna (born 1 May 1932) is an Indian politician who served as Minister of External Affairs of India from 2009 to October 2012.[1] He was the 16th Chief Minister of Karnataka from 1999 to 2004 and the 19th Governor of Maharashtra from 2004 to 2008. SM Krishna had served as the Speaker of the Karnataka Vidhan Sabha from December 1989 to January 1993. He was also a member of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha at various times from 1971 to 2014.

S. M. Krishna
Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna (cropped).jpg
Krishna in 2009
Minister of External Affairs
In office
23 May 2009 – 28 October 2012
Prime MinisterManmohan Singh
Preceded byPranab Mukherjee
Succeeded bySalman Khurshid
Governor of Maharashtra
In office
12 December 2004 – 5 March 2008
Chief MinisterVilasrao Deshmukh
Preceded byMohammed Fazal
Succeeded byS. C. Jamir
16th Chief Minister of Karnataka
In office
11 October 1999 – 28 May 2004
GovernorV. S. Ramadevi
T. N. Chaturvedi
Preceded byJ. H. Patel
Succeeded byN. Dharam Singh
Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka
In office
19 November 1992 – 11 December 1994
Chief MinisterM. Veerappa Moily
Preceded bynone
Succeeded byJ. H. Patel
Personal details
Born (1932-05-01) 1 May 1932 (age 87)
Somanahalli, Kingdom of Mysore, British India
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
Other political
Alma materMysore University
Southern Methodist University
George Washington University Law School

Early life and educationEdit

S. M. Krishna is son of S.C. Mallaiah. He was born to a Vokkaliga family in a village named Somanahalli in the Maddur Taluk of Mandya district, Karnataka. He completed his Bachelor's in Arts from Maharaja's College, Mysore and obtained a Law degree from University Law College, which was then known as Government Law College in Bangalore. Krishna studied in the United States, graduating from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and The George Washington University Law School in Washington D.C, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. Soon after his return to India, he was elected to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in 1962.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

He is married to Prema. They have two daughters.[3] His daughter Malavika Krishna was married to the Late V. G. Siddhartha, a businessman and the founder of Cafe Coffee Day.[4][5]

Political careerEdit

Krishna(center) with US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama during a reception at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

Krishna started his political career with Praja Socialist Party in the year 1962. He had won against a prominent politician from Indian National Congress (INC) for whom Jawaharlal Nehru had campaigned in Maddur. He served multiple terms as an MP from the Mandya district of Karnataka starting from 1968 in the 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th Lok Sabha.In 1968 he was influential in reconciliation between members of the Indian National Congress and Praja Socialist Party. He later joined the Congress and served as minister under Indira Gandhi between 1983–84 and Rajiv Gandhi between 1984 and 1985 as minister of state for industry and finance respectively. He was member of the Rajya Sabha in the years 1996 and 2006. He was member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly and council at different times. Between 1989 and 1992 he was Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly and Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka.

In 1999, as Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president, he led his party to victory in the assembly polls and took over as Chief Minister of Karnataka, a post he held until 2004. He was also instrumental in creating power reforms with ESCOMS and digitization of land records (BHOOMI) and many other citizen friendly initiatives. He encouraged private public participation and was a fore bearer of the Bangalore Advance Task Force. He later became the Governor of Maharashtra.

Krishna resigned as Governor of Maharashtra on 5 March 2008. It was reported that this was due to his intention to return to active politics in Karnataka.[6] President Pratibha Patil accepted his resignation on 6 March.[7] Krishna entered the Rajya Sabha and subsequently took the oath of office as Union Cabinet Minister of External Affairs in the Council of Ministers under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 22 May 2009.

Krishna resigned as External Affairs Minister on 26 October 2012 indicating a return to Karnataka state politics.[1][8]

Krishna resigned as a member of INC on 29 January 2017 quoting that the party was in a "state of confusion" on whether it needed mass leaders or not. He also complained of having been sidelined by the party and that the party was "dependent on managers and not time-tested people like [himself]" His son in law died on August 2019.[9] After speculations on his joining the Bharatiya Janata Party, he formally joined the party in March.

Positions heldEdit

Foreign visitsEdit

On 2 July 2012, Krishna paid a two-day visit to Tajikistan to strengthen its economic and energy ties.[12]


  1. ^ a b "S M Krishna resigns ahead of Cabinet reshuffle; Soni, Wasnik too 'offer' to quit". The Times of India. New Delhi. PTI. 26 October 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  2. ^ "S.M. Krishna: US-educated, experienced politician". 22 May 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  3. ^ "How SM Krishna finally made it". Deccan Herald. 23 May 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  4. ^ MEGALKERI, BASU (19 April 2013). "NO, THANK YOU, MR SM KRISHNA". Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Divya Spandana lashes out! - Times of India". The Times of India. 4 May 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  6. ^ "S. M. Krishna quits as Governor", The Hindu, 6 March 2008.
  7. ^ "Krishna resignation accepted, Jamir in charge of State",, 6 March 2008.
  8. ^ "Krishna quits, rejig to focus on youth". Hindustan Times. New Delhi. 26 October 2012. Archived from the original on 13 December 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  9. ^ "Veteran leader S.M. Krishna quits Congress". Livemint. 30 January 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  10. ^ "member profile".
  11. ^ "Detail profile - Archive Site of National Portal of India". Govt. of India.
  12. ^ "Krishna to pay a two-day visit to Tajikistan from tomorrow". 1 July 2012.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka
Succeeded by
J. H. Patel
Preceded by
Jayadevappa Halappa Patel
Chief Minister of Karnataka
Succeeded by
Dharam Singh
Preceded by
Mohammed Fazal
Governor of Maharashtra
Succeeded by
Sanayangba Chubatoshi Jamir
Preceded by
Pranab Mukherjee
Minister of External Affairs
Succeeded by
Salman Khurshid