A distinguished social and political worker, Basappa Danappa Jatti occupied various positions of responsibility during his public life. He was a member of the Legislature of the erstwhile princely State of jamkhandi, of the Bombay Legislative Assembly and of the Mysore Legislative Assembly. He was also the Chief Minister of the jamkhandi State, a Minister in the Government of Bombay and the Chief Minister of Mysore. Jatti was the Lt. Governor of Pondicherry (1968-72) and later the Governor of Orissa (1972-74). He was the Vice-President of India and ex officio Chairman, Rajya Sabha, from 31 August 1974 to 30 August 1979. He was the acting President of India from 12 February 1977 till 24 July 1977.
The portrait of Shri B.D. Jatti was painted by Ranbir Saxena.