R. Gundu Rao

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R. Gundu Rao
9th Chief Minister of Karnataka
In office
12 January 1980 – 6 January 1983
GovernorGovind Narain
Ashoknath Banerji
Preceded byDevaraj Urs
Succeeded byRamakrishna Hegde
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
Preceded byV. S. Krishna Iyer
Succeeded byK. Venkatagiri Gowda
ConstituencyBangalore South Constituency
Minister of Transport, Government of Karnataka
In office
Minister of State for Information, Government of Karnataka[1]
In office
Assembly Member
for Somwarpet[2][3]
In office
Preceded byG. M. Manjanathaya
Succeeded byB. A. Jivijaya
Personal details
Born(1937-04-08)8 April 1937
Kushalanagar, Coorg Province, British India
Died22 August 1993(1993-08-22) (aged 56)
London, United Kingdom
Political partyIndian National Congress
Children3; including Dinesh

R. Gundu Rao (27 September 1937 – 22 August 1993) was the Chief Minister of Karnataka state from 1980 to 1983.

Early life[edit]

Rao was born in a Kannada Brahmin family[4] in Kushalanagara in the erstwhile Coorg Province (now in Kodagu district of Karnataka) of British India on 8 April 1937.[5] His parents were K. Rama Rao and Chinnamma. His father was a Headmaster in a local school. He studied in Ammathi High school. He was a well-known Ball Badminton Player in Kodagu and had won numerous trophies.[6]

Political career[edit]

Rao began his political career as Town Municipality President of Kushalanagar, a position in which he served for ten years. Later, he was elected as MLA from Somwarpet in 1972 and 1978. He served as minister in the government of D. Devaraj Urs and also as a Leader of Opposition for a brief period.

He became Chief minister of Karnataka after the collapse of the Urs government. As Chief Minister, Gundu Rao was responsible for the construction of the Majestic bus station in Bangalore, which is today known as Kempegowda Bus Station.[7] He also sanctioned numerous Medical and Engineering Colleges in Karnataka. The Cauvery IInd Stage was completed within a year and half during his tenure. He was also responsible for the construction of the "Kala Mandira" in Mysore.[6]

The Gokak agitation seeking supremacy for Kannada in the administration and education of Karnataka as well as the police firing on farmers at Nargund and Navalgund were the low points during his tenure as Chief minister. While he was acknowledged as an efficient administrator, he was more well known for his flamboyance, boldness and outspokenness.[8][9]

Gundu Rao was also elected as a Member of Parliament from Bangalore South Constituency from 1989 to 1991.[6]


He died of leukemia in London on 22 August 1993, aged 56.

Personal life[edit]

His son Dinesh Gundu Rao is currently serving as a legislator from Gandhinagar constituency in Bangalore[10] and a former minister for food and civil supplies.


  1. https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/special-report/story/19801031-i-am-here-because-of-my-party-r.-gundu-rao-821550-2014-01-07
  2. "Previous Year's Election Results in Somwarpet, Karnataka". www.traceall.in.
  3. "Somwarpet Assembly Constituency Election Result". www.resultuniversity.in.
  5. "Members Bioprofile". Lok Sabha.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "The Charismatic Chief – Gundu Rao". Karnataka.com.
  7. "Profile of Late. Sri R Gundu Rao". Dinesh Gundu rao personal website.
  8. "Gundu Rao was known for his boldness". The Hindu. 26 February 2007. Archived from the original on 28 February 2007.
  9. "Achievements of Gundu Rao significant, says Ananthamurthy". The Hindu. 5 March 2006. Archived from the original on 20 April 2006.
  10. and a former minister for food and civil supplies."Winning is all that ultimately matters to political parties". Rediff on the net.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
D. Devaraj Urs
Chief Minister of Karnataka
12 January 1980 – 6 January 1983
Succeeded by
Ramakrishna Hegde