Veteran politician and former Karnataka Chief Minister S M Krishna, who has been conferred with the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award of the country, on Thursday said he will dedicate the award to the people of the state, who have nurtured him for six decades.
Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the 90-year old leader, who has been given the award in the ‘Public Affairs’ category said, he is ” too humbled” to accept the award.
“My parents will be pleased and happy for that the honourable Prime Minister and Home Minister have thought it fit to confer this prestigious distinction on me. I’m grateful to the government of India and I’m also grateful to the people of Karnataka,” Krishna said.
He said, he will dedicate the award to the people of Karnataka, who have nurtured him in the last six decades.
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“I was least expecting anything, this is something which has been blessed, and I’m too humbled to accept this,” he added.
Krishna, who was with the BJP until recently, had earlier this month said that he was retiring from active politics, citing his age as the reason.
He was the 16th Chief Minister of Karnataka, from October 11, 1999, to May 28, 2004 (from Congress). He had served as Governor of Maharashtra and was the External Affairs Minister during the Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government from 2009 to 2012.
A law graduate, he studied in the United States graduating from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and The George Washington University Law School in Washington DC, where he was a Fulbright Scholar.
Krishna started his career in electoral politics in 1962 by winning the Maddur Assembly seat as an independent by defeating Congress’ KV Shankar Gowda. He was then associated with the Praja Socialist Party before joining Congress.
Krishna had served as the Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly from December 1989 to January 1993. He was also a member of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha at various times from 1971 to 2014.
He was a member of both Karnataka Assembly and Council, and also had served as Deputy Chief Minister (1993 to 1994), and was Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president ahead of the 1999 Assembly polls in which the party won and he became the Chief Minister.
Krishna is credited by many for putting Bengaluru on the global map, as a fillip given to the IT sector during his tenure has resulted in the city growing as ‘India’s Silicon Valley’. He had joined the BJP in March 2017, ending his nearly 50- year-long association with the Congress.