S. M. Krishna
Krishna as external affairs minister at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., June 3, 2011 .
27th Minister of External Affairs
In office
23 May 2009 – 28 October 2012
Prime MinisterManmohan Singh
Preceded byPranab Mukherjee
Succeeded bySalman Khurshid
18th Governor of Maharashtra
In office
12 December 2004 – 5 March 2008
Chief MinisterVilasrao Deshmukh
Preceded byMohammed Fazal
Succeeded byS. C. Jamir
10th Chief Minister of Karnataka
In office
11 October 1999 – 28 May 2004
Preceded byJ. H. Patel
Succeeded byN. Dharam Singh
1st Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka
In office
21 January 1993 – 11 December 1994
Chief MinisterM. Veerappa Moily
Preceded byOffice Established
Succeeded byJ. H. Patel
13th Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly
In office
18 December 1989 – 20 January 1993
Preceded byB. G. Banakar, JP
Succeeded byV. S. Koujalagi, INC
Personal details
Born (1932-05-01) 1 May 1932 (age 92)
Somanahalli, Kingdom of Mysore, British India
(now in Karnataka, India)
Political partyRetired
Other political
Bharatiya Janata Party
(March 2017 — 2023)
RelativesV. G. Siddhartha
(son in-law)
Alma materMysore University
Southern Methodist University
George Washington University Law School
HonoursPadma Vibhushan (2023)

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 10th 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. In 2023, Krishna was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award of India.[2]

Early life and education

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 finished his High School in Sri Ramakrishna Vidyashala, Mysore. He completed his Bachelor of 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.[3] He had a younger brother, Shankar (died 2019), who was a member of the Karnataka Legislative Council.[4]

Personal life

He is married to Prema. They have two daughters.[5] His daughter Malavika Krishna was married to the Late V. G. Siddhartha, a businessman and the founder of Cafe Coffee Day.[6][7]

At the dawn of his political life, he released his biography "Smritivahini" in the presence of many dignitaries. He has penned many interesting incidents including Veerappan Kidnapping of Rajkumar during his tenure as the chief minister.[8] He has also quoted that the former prime minister of India and national president of Janata Dal (Secular) H. D. Devegowda had strong plans of joining Indian National Congress twice during the period of National emergency.[9][10]

Political career

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 electoral political career in the year 1962 by winning Maddur Vidhana Sabha seat as an independent, defeating the prominent politician from Indian National Congress K V Shankar Gowda for whom Jawaharlal Nehru had campaigned.[11] Then he joined Praja Socialist Party, but lost from Maddur in 1967 elections to Congress' M M Gowda. He won the by-poll for Mandya (Lok Sabha constituency) in 1968 when the sitting MP died, defeating the Congress nominee.

In 1968 he was influential in reconciliation between members of the Indian National Congress and Praja Socialist Party. He served three terms as an MP from the Mandya constituency of Karnataka starting from 1968 by-poll as a socialist. His next two terms were as a Congressman, winning elections in 1971 and 1980. Mandya has remained a Congress stronghold, represented in Lok Sabha later by his political proteges like Ambareesh and Divya Spandana (also known as Ramya). S M Krishna resigned from Lok Sabha in 1972, and became a member of the Karnataka Legislative Council and was appointed a minister by Devaraj Urs.

After he went back to Lok Sabha in 1980,[12] and he served as minister under Indira Gandhi between 1983–84. He lost from Mandya Lok Sabha seat in the 1984 elections, and it is unclear if he served as a minister between 1984 and 1985 under Rajiv Gandhi. However, he was reelected to the Karnataka legislative assembly in 1985, and between 1989 and 1993 he was Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly and Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka from 1993 to 1994.

Later, he became a member of the Rajya Sabha in the years 1996 and 1999.

In 1999, as Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president, he led his party to victory in the 1999 assembly polls and took over as Chief Minister of Karnataka, a post he held until being defeated in 2004 Karnataka Legislative Assembly elections. 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.

Krishna was appointed Governor of Maharashtra on December 2004. 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.[13] President Pratibha Patil accepted his resignation on 6 March.[14] 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. In his tenure as the external affairs minister, he visited a number of countries including Tajikistan in 2012 to strengthen economic and energy ties.[15]

Krishna resigned as External Affairs Minister on 26 October 2012 indicating a return to Karnataka state politics.[1][16]

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]".[17] After speculations on his joining the Bharatiya Janata Party, he formally joined the party in March 2017.[18]

He announced his retirement from politics on 07-01-2023.

Positions held

Krishna at the 6th Asian Congress of Neurological Surgeons, organised by the Hinduja Hospital


  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. Archived from the original on 3 April 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Padma awards: Sudha Murty, S M Krishna, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Zakir Hussain, others honoured". Deccan Herald. 22 March 2023. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  3. ^ "S.M. Krishna: US-educated, experienced politician". thaindian.com. 22 May 2009. Archived from the original on 7 April 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Former K'taka Legislative Council member SM Shankar no more". Udayavani. 22 June 2019. Retrieved 30 April 2024.
  5. ^ "How SM Krishna finally made it". Deccan Herald. 23 May 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  6. ^ MEGALKERI, BASU (19 April 2013). "NO, THANK YOU, MR SM KRISHNA". talkmag.in. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Divya Spandana lashes out!". The Times of India. 4 May 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  8. ^ "Rajkumar kidnap: The 'perfect script' that will remain a secret". The Hindu. 26 September 2018. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  9. ^ "Bengaluru: JD(S) objects to reference to Deve Gowda in Krishna's book". Daiji World. 26 December 2019. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  10. ^ "HD Deve Gowda wished to join Congress twice, reveals SM Krishna's book". New Indian Express. 29 December 2019. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  11. ^ [1].
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ "S. M. Krishna quits as Governor", The Hindu, 6 March 2008.
  14. ^ "Krishna resignation accepted, Jamir in charge of State", Sify.com, 6 March 2008.
  15. ^ "Krishna to pay a two-day visit to Tajikistan from tomorrow". The Times of India. 1 July 2012. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013.
  16. ^ "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.
  17. ^ "Veteran leader S.M. Krishna quits Congress". Livemint. 30 January 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  18. ^ Hebbar, Nistula (22 March 2017). "S.M. Krishna joins BJP". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  19. ^ "Maddur Assembly Constituency Election Result – Legislative Assembly Constituency".
  20. ^ "member profile".
  21. ^ "Detail profile – Archive Site of National Portal of India". Govt. of India. Archived from the original on 27 September 2018. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
Political offices Preceded bynone Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka 1993–1994 Succeeded byJ. H. Patel Preceded byJayadevappa Halappa Patel Chief Minister of Karnataka 1999–2004 Succeeded byDharam Singh Preceded byMohammed Fazal Governor of Maharashtra 2004–2008 Succeeded bySanayangba Chubatoshi Jamir Preceded byPranab Mukherjee Minister of External Affairs 2009–2012 Succeeded bySalman Khurshid