The newly appointed Karnataka chief minister, Basavaraj Bommai, has no official residence to move in with his family and staff, and has been functioning from his own house in RT Nagar and using a government guesthouse Kumara Krupa to hold meetings in the morning. His predecessor BS Yediyurappa, who quit as the CM last month, reportedly wants to continue to stay at the official residence Cauvery, the British-era bungalow in central Bengaluru, and Bommai perhaps can’t ask him to vacate.
Strangely, the Karnataka CM has no designated house for himself in the state capital. Over the years, chief ministers have chosen several British-era bungalows in the central part of Bengaluru aligning with their Vaastu, other astrological beliefs. This has led to a situation where an incumbent CM has to struggle for an accommodation.
Except Cauvery and Anugraha, other bungalows are smaller and not suitable to house the CM. Anugraha, the bungalow next to Cauvery, is currently occupied by Lokayukta Justice Vishwanath Shetty. Earlier, former chief minister SM Krishna had stayed there.
Yediyurappa is not entitled for a government bungalow as he doesn’t hold any official position other than being an MLA from Shikaripura. Recently, the Karnataka government had issued an order, stating that Yediyurappa will continue to receive government facilities on par with cabinet-rank ministers, which he declined.
In the past, former CM Siddaramaiah after losing power had stayed for over a year at Cauvery, which was then allotted to Cabinet minister KJ George. Yediyurappa after taking charge as CM had to issue a notice to Siddaramaiah to vacate the bungalow.
According to high level officials in the Chief Minister’s Office, Bommai might move into a bungalow next to Taj West End Hotel on Racecourse Road. The bungalow named Raceview Cottage is much smaller compared to Cauvery.
Karnataka chief ministers’ belief in Vaastu and superstition have deprived them of a designated house in the state capital.
“Chief ministers and their family’s belief in Vaastu, astrology has created this embarrassing situation. Government officials have also turned some big bungalows into offices and guesthouses without applying mind. At least, now the government should declare Cauvery as the designated official residence of Karnataka CM to avoid crisis in future,” said a top official at the CMO.
When Karnataka State (then New Mysore State) was created in 1956, the first CM S Nijalingappa had stayed at Carlton House on Palace Road. He quit in two years and his successor BD Jatti moved into Balabrooie on Sankey Road. His successor SR Kanthi stayed at Crescent house on Crescent Road.
Nijalingappa had also stayed at Park House, currently the KPSC head office. D Devaraj Urs had occupied Balabrooie, currently a state guesthouse. Carlton house has now become the headquarters of CID and Crescent house is with Karnataka Judicial Academy.
Ramakrishna Hegde had stayed at his own house Krithika during his tenure from 1983 to 1988.
HD Deve Gowda was at Anugraha and JH Patel as CM had occupied Cauvery. His successor SM Krishna had moved to Anugraha for Vaastu reasons. HD Kumaraswamy during his second stint operated out of a cottage at the Taj West End hotel as Siddaramaiah had refused to vacate Cauvery.
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