C. M. Poonacha

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C. M. Poonacha
C M Poonacha.gif
13th Governor of Odisha
In office
1 September 1982 – 17 August 1983
Chief MinisterJanaki Ballabh Patnaik
Preceded byRanganath Misra (Acting)
Succeeded byBishambhar Nath Pande
In office
4 November 1980 – 24 June 1982
Chief MinisterJanaki Ballabh Patnaik
Preceded byS. K. Ray (Acting)
Succeeded byRanganath Misra (Acting)
In office
30 April 1980 – 30 September 1980
Chief MinisterJanaki Ballabh Patnaik
Preceded byB. D. Sharma
Succeeded byS. K. Ray (Acting)
6th Governor of Madhya Pradesh
In office
17 August 1978 – 29 April 1980
Chief MinisterVirendra Kumar Sakhlecha
Sunder Lal Patwa
Preceded byN. N. Wanchoo
Succeeded byB. D. Sharma
8th Minister of Railways
In office
30 March 1967 – 14 February 1969
Prime MinisterIndira Gandhi
Preceded byS. K. Patil
Succeeded byRam Subhag Singh
Chief Minister of Coorg
In office
27 March 1952 – 31 October 1956
Chief CommissionerDaya Singh Bedi
Preceded byOffice Established
Succeeded byOffice Abolished
Minister for Steel and Heavy Engineering
In office
15 February 1969 – 17 March 1971
MoS for Transport, Aviation, Shipping and Tourism
In office
January 25, 1966-March 12, 1967
ConstituencyMysore State, Rajya Sabha
MoS for Finance
In office
1 January 1966-24 January 1966
ConstituencyMysore State, Rajya Sabha
Minister for Home, Mysore State
In office
Minister for Commerce and Industries, Mysore State
In office
Minister for Finance, Coorg (Kodagu)
In office
Member of the Indian Parliament
for Mangalore
In office
Preceded byAdhur Shanker Alva
Succeeded byK. K. Shetty
Member of the Indian Parliament
for Mysore State, Rajya Sabha
In office
3 April 1964-25 February 1967
Succeeded byT. Siddalingaya
MLA in Coorg (Kodagu)
In office
1952 - 1957
Preceded byPosition Created
Succeeded byPosition Abolished
MLA in Mysore State
In office
Preceded byPosition Created
Succeeded byA. P. Appanna
Personal details
Cheppudira Muthanna Poonacha

(1910-09-26)26 September 1910
Attur, Coorg Province, British India
Died7 August 1990(1990-08-07) (aged 79)
Political partyIndian National Congress
Children4, including C. P. Belliappa & Kavery Nambisan
OccupationFreedom Fighter, Politician
Known forOnly Chief Minister of Coorg (Kodagu)

Cheppudira Muthana Poonacha was the Chief Minister of Coorg, Minister in Mysore State, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha), Union Railway Minister of India and Governor of Madhya Pradesh and Governor of Orissa.

Freedom Movement[edit]

C. M. Poonacha was a descendant of the Coorg Dewans. During the Freedom Movement he was sentenced to imprisonment twice during the Salt Satyagraha in 1932 and 1933. He was again imprisoned in 1940–41. and in 1942–44. He became a member of All-India Congress Committee in 1938. Also, in 1938 he was elected to Coorg District Board, became its President in 1941 and in 1945 he was elected to Coorg Legislative Council. From 1945 to 1951 he was leader of the Congress Legislative Party in the Council. He hence became a prominent member of the Indian National Congress party in Coorg.


In 1947 Coorg was a separate state in South India until 1956. The other states of South India at that time were Bombay Presidency, Madras Presidency, Mysore kingdom, Travancore kingdom, Cochin kingdom and Hyderabad kingdom. The Coorg State Assembly had a strength of 24 members and the Cabinet consisted of just two members.

Constituent Assembly Member (Constitution of India)[edit]

C M Poonacha represented the Coorg state as a member of the Constituent Assembly.[1]

Chief Minister (Coorg)[edit]

Two parties fought the 1952 state elections: the Takkadi ('Scales of Justice') party under veteran Gandhian Pandyanda Belliappa, who was a dominant political force and voice of Coorg with its anti-merger plank, and the Congress under C.M. Poonacha in Coorg. Poonacha was elected Chief Minister of Coorg State (1952–56) in the first general elections. Coorg had two MPs in the Union Parliament then, besides having a state legislative body.[2] In 1956 the State Reorganisation Act was passed. Coorg was merged with Mysore and the legislative body at Mercara dissolved. While the Chief Minister was C.M. Poonacha, (who also held the finance portfolio), the only other Minister was Home Minister, Kittur Mallappa. C.M. Poonacha had won the Beriathnad seat while K. Mallappa won the second seat from Sanivarasante.[3] The Congress won 15 seats and Independents (opposing merger), represented by the Takkadi party, won nine seats. Under various circumstances Coorg was merged with the then Mysore in 1956.[4] This election was widely controversial as it was believed that many people from nearby districts of Hunsur, Mysore and Mandya were brought to Kodagu to vote as the government of Karnataka (Congress) believed people of Kodagu will vote overwhelmingly in opposition of the merger.[5][6]

State Minister (Mysore)[edit]

After the formation of the new Mysore State Poonacha was Minister for Home and Industries under its Chief Minister S. Nijalingappa. He was also Chairman, State Trading Corporation of India from 1959 to 1963. He led the Government of India Trade delegation to some East European countries in 1960 and was the leader of the State Trading Corporation delegation to Japan in 1961.

Central Minister[edit]

Poonacha was elected to the Rajya Sabha in April 1964. Later Poonacha was made Union Minister without portfolio in Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's cabinet. From 1 to 24 January 1966, he was Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and from 25 January 1966 to 12 March 1967 Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport, Aviation, Shipping and Tourism. He contested and won the Lok Sabha seat for the Mangalore constituency in 1969. He contested again in 1971 as a candidate of NCO party, but lost.[7][8][9]

Union Railway Minister[edit]

After some time he became Union Minister for Railways from 1967 to 1969 (at first interim and then final) and Minister for Steel and Heavy Engineering in 1969. At that time he was the Member of Parliament representing Mangalore Lok Sabha constituency to which Coorg then belonged.[10][11][12]



After his retirement from active politics, he served two terms as governor, once as Governors of Madhya Pradesh taking charge on 17 August 1978 and later as Governor of Orissa on 30 April 1980.


Poonacha had two sons and two daughters. Two of his children, C. P. Belliappa and Kaveri Nambisan, are well-known writers in English.

See also[edit]


  1. Prasad, Rajendra (1984). Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Correspondence and Select Documents: Volume Seventeen ... - Google Books. ISBN 9788170230021. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  2. [1] Archived 22 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  3. "From a princely State to two Assembly segments - KARNATAKA". The Hindu. 29 April 2008. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  4. "Kodagu fighting to maintain its existence - ANDHRA PRADESH". The Hindu. 20 April 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  5. "Coorg and the reorganisation of States - NATIONAL". The Hindu. 20 October 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  6. Harish Ramaswamy (2007). Karnataka Government and Politics. p. 383. ISBN 9788180693977. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  7. "Kodagu goes to LS polls with Mysore for first time - KARNATAKA". The Hindu. 12 April 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  8. Janak Raj Jai (1996). Commissions and Omissions by Indian Prime Ministers, Volume 1. p. 115. ISBN 9788186030233. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  9. Kuldeep Mathur, James Warner Bjorkman (1994). Top Policy Makers in India: Cabinet Ministers and Their Civil Service Advisors. p. 84. ISBN 9788170225300. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  10. "[IRFCA] Railway Ministers". Irfca.org. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  11. http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/railwayboard/uploads/directorate/finance_budget/Previous%20Budget%20Speeches/1967-68_interim.pdf
  12. http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/railwayboard/uploads/directorate/finance_budget/Previous%20Budget%20Speeches/1968-69.pdf

External links[edit]

Preceded by
N. N. Wanchu
Governor of Madhya Pradesh
17 August 1978 - 29 April 1980
Succeeded by
B. D. Sharma
Preceded by
Bhagwat Dayal Sharma (first term);
Justice S.K. Ray (second term)
R.N. Mishra (third term)
Governor of Odisha
Apr 1980– Sep 1980 (first term);
Nov 1980 – Jun 1982 (second term);
Sep 1982 – Aug 1983 (third term)
Succeeded by
Justice S.K. Ray (first term);
R. N. Mishra (second term)
Bishambhar Nath Pande(third term)