Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, after occupying the Cauvery Bungalow for six years, was asked to vacate the premises but has now engaged in a battle of bungalows with the current Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa who has allotted the Cauvery Bungalow to himself.
The bone of contention is the Cauvery Bungalow, located on a one-acre plot in the plush Kumarakrupa locality and adjoining Krishna, the official home office of the Chief Minister of Karnataka.
While there is no fixed bungalow earmarked for the Chief Minister in Bengaluru, of the available residences, each of the Chief Ministers' have chosen different ones for themselves.
When HD Kumaraswamy was the Chief Minister for the first time during 2006-07, he occupied the Anugraha Bungalow. Sources in JDS say that Kumaraswamy had deemed Cauvery unlucky as it was the same residence where, in 1990, the then Chief Minister Veerendra Patil’s health deteriorated and he lost his position as the state's CM.
Yediyurappa, in his first stint as CM, had chosen to stay at bungalow #2 on Racecourse Road between 2008-11. This was the same bungalow he had occupied when he was the leader of the opposition and then the Deputy Chief Minister he continued living there.
His successors, Sadananda Gowda and Jagadish Shettar had lived at Anugraha and Cauvery bungalows respectively.
Siddaramiah had been allotted the Cauvery residence when he took over as Chief Minister in 2013 and he has continued living there to date. During Kumaraswamy’s second tenure as Chief Minister, he chose not to live in a government bungalow and lived at his private residence.
After Yediyurappa became Chief Minister in July 2019, he continued living in his private residence, Dhawalagiri in upmarket Dollors Colony. Many had predicted that he may want to move into his ‘lucky charm’ bungalow, #2 Racecourse road which was then occupied by former minister Sa Ra Mahesh.
The decision to allot Cauvery to Yediyurappa had taken many by surprise as the Department of Personnel and Administrative (DPAR) is under the Chief Minister. Sources in CMO claim that there were two reasons why Yediyurappa preferred Cauvery over his lucky bungalow this time.
The first is a logistical issue-Cauvery has an internal entrance into Krishna which is the Chief Minister’s office. So by that account, living in Cauvery will make it easier for the 76-year old Yediyurappa to attend to the hectic schedule that the job entails and also not cause public nuisance over traffic restrictions.
The second reason is astrology- some close associates of the Chief Minister reportedly pointed to the fact that Siddaramaiah, after a gap of over 35 years, managed to complete a full term as Chief Minister while he lived at the Cauvery.
When the coalition government came to power, Cauvery was allotted to senior minister K J George. After Siddaramaiah insisted on continuing to live there, K J George has written a letter to DPAR seeking the permission of a month to vacate.
Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah who was recently appointed the leader of the opposition has asked to continue living at the same bungalow, a request the DPAR has rejected so far.