Nearly three weeks after he took over as the new Chief Minister of Karnataka, Basavaraj Bommai will soon move into his official residence in Bengaluru. According to an official notification issued by the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms, the CM will operate from No. 1 Race View Cottage on Race Course Road.
Higher Education Minister and former Deputy Chief Minister, C N Ashwathnarayan, has been staying in the ministerial bungalow. “The CM will be able to shift after Ashwathnarayan, who has been asking for a bungalow on Crescent Road, moves out,” an official said.
According to sources, the house will be repainted and modified as per Bommai’s demands before he officially moves to the residence. Till then, the CM will continue to operate from the Kumara Krupa guest house as a temporary measure.
‘Cauvery’, the official residence used by CMs earlier, continues to be occupied by his predecessor B S Yediyurappa. Prior to this, Siddaramaiah, Jagadish Shettar, J H Patel, S Bangarappa, Veerendra Patil, and R Gundu Rao were other chief ministers who used `Cauvery’ as their official residence. Expect for Siddaramaiah (from 2013 to 2018), all others had short tenures.
Incidentally, ‘Anugraha’, another residence used by CMs in the past, will remain unoccupied as several politicians consider it to be unlucky on account of the short tenures of CMs who lived there.
Despite being designated as the CM’s official residence, ‘Anugraha’ has been shunned in recent times by chief ministers. D V Sadananda Gowda (2011), Dharam Singh (2005) and S M Krishna (1999-2004), H D Kumaraswamy (2006-2007) and H D Deve Gowda (1994-96) have stayed in ‘Anugraha’ as chief ministers. While Krishna completed his tenure, others’ tenures were short-lived.
During Kumaraswamy’s tenure, between 2006-07, the PWD ran up bills amounting to Rs 69 lakh in making the house more “Vaastu compliant” after he began living there. B S Yediyurappa, in his first tenure (2008-2011), chose to continue living at Race View Cottage despite the PWD spending another Rs 56 lakh to modify it.
Sadananda Gowda, during his brief 11-month tenure, ignored the superstition surrounding ‘Anugraha’ and moved into it. “Some people said it is a haunted house but the only ones haunting the house was us,” Gowda had said after stepping down as chief minister.