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S M Krishna's profile

india Updated: May 23, 2009 17:54 IST

S M Krishna, who was appointed as External Affairs Minister on Saturday, brings along with him a long experience of administration at central and state level.

As he prepares to take over the crucial ministry, the 77-year-old suave western-educated leader has immediate challenges waiting in the form of dealing with the problems of the neighbourhood, particularly Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

With India having arrived as a key player in the global fora, Krishna will have the task of pushing the momentum to ensure that the country gets its rightful place in the expanded UN Security Council.

Krishna returns to the union cabinet after 14 years. He was Minister of State for Finance in 1984-85, before which he had held the post of Union Minister of State for Industry during 1983-84.

A Fulbright Scholar educated in George Washington and Southern Methodist Universities in the US, has had a roller coaster ride in politics that has seen him occupy positions of power as union minister, Speaker in Karnataka assembly, Chief Minister of the state and Governor of Maharashtra.

But during his tenure as Chief Minister in 1999-2004, Krishna came close earning severe rap from the Supreme Court when he undertook a 'padayatra' challenging Tamil Nadu's share of the Cauvery river water.

He was a member of the third Karnataka Legislative Assembly in 1962-67 and in 1989-1992 and 2004 a member of the Karnataka Legislative Council in 1972-77.

Krishna has held the portfolio of minister for Commerce and Industries and Parliamentary Affairs, Karnataka in 1972-77 and was Speaker in 1989-92.

When he failed to repeat the electoral success story in Karnatka in 2004, he was shifted from state politics to the post of Maharashtra governor, a post he reluctantly accepted and palpably uncomfortable in because he wanted to remain in the thick of politics.

His interest in Karnataka politics made news in between short interludes with the savvy leader sending signals that he always wanted to stage a comeback. The news of his impeding re-entry kept making headlines till he finally quit the Governor's post and plunged back into state politics in 2008.