Shivamogga: While Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy is struggling to keep the coalition afloat after more than 15 state MLAs put in their papers, another name that comes to mind is that of Dharam Singh, a former Karnataka chief minister.

Dharam Singh was the chief minister during 2004 to 2006. He was heading a coalition of the Congress and the JD(S) after the state failed to vote for a stable government.

But in 2006, he had to step down as the JD(S) withdrew its support and decided to join hands with the BJP, with HD Kumaraswamy becoming the CM and Yeddyurappa, the deputy CM.

This observation was made by former IPS officer DV Guruprasad during the Press Day celebrations in Shivamogga, Karnataka, on June 8.

Guruprasad recalled an incident in which Dharam Singh was in Shivamogga to campaign for the Congress candidate during a Lok Sabha election (probably 2004). During this period, he had to sign an order pertaining to the appointment of director general of police.

The former IPS officer added, “He could have mentioned the name over the phone. But he did not do it. He risked his life by travelling in a helicopter even when the weather conditions were not favourable and arrived in Bengaluru at 9 pm to sign the order, which surprised me,” quoted a local English daily.

Further, he said that Dharam Singh was so innocent that he did not believe that he would be overthrown as the Congress and JD(S) had joined hands to form the government.

Dharam Singh was known to be a politician, who had friends cutting across party lines. It was this trait of his that made him the frontrunner for the post of chief ministership after the hung verdict in Karnataka.

Singh passed away in 2018 owing age-related illness at the age of 80.