Profile: In chequered career, HDK gets another chance as Chief Minister

Knowing Karnataka's 25th Chief Minister
Last Updated 28 September 2018, 09:18 IST

At 59, Haradanahalli Deve Gowda Kumaraswamy, will be taking oath as chief minister of the state for the second time after a gap of 12 years. He will be sworn in as the 25th chief minister of Karnataka on Wednesday.

Born to Channamma and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda in Haradanahalli in Holenarasipura taluk of Hassan district, Kumaraswamy is presently the state president of the Janata Dal (Secular).

Popularly known as ‘Kumaranna’ by his party workers and followers, Kumaraswamy forayed into politics by getting elected as a Lok Sabha member from the erstwhile Kanakapura seat in 1996.

His first love was however films. As a producer, distributor and exhibitor, Kumaraswamy has given many hits, including ‘Chandra Chakori’ and ‘Surya Vamsha’, under the banner Channambike Films.

A BSc graduate, Kumaraswamy is said to have two wives and two children. He married Anitha Kumaraswamy in 1986, who presently owns Channambike Films. In 2006, he is alleged to have entered into wedlock for the second time by marrying Radhika, a lead actor in the early 2000s. He has a son from his first marriage, Nikhil Gowda, and a daughter, Shamika K, from Radhika. His son too happens to be a Sandalwood actor.

After tasting victory in electoral politics at the age of 37, Kumaraswamy, however, faced three defeats subsequently.

He contested unsuccessfully as Janata Dal candidate from Kanakapura Lok Sabha seat (1998 and 1999), and from Sathanur Assemmbly segment (1999).

While Kumaraswamy has been elected as MP twice -- from Kanakapura (1996) and Bengaluru Rural (2009); he has been elected as an MLA four times -- from Ramanagara (2004, 2008, 2013, 2018), and from Channapatna (2018).

He, however, became a force to reckon with in Karnataka politics, after he won the Assembly elections from Ramanagara in 2004. His strategic political move in 2006, earned him the name ‘king maker’. Kumaraswamy was instrumental in toppling the Congress-JD(S) coalition formed in 2004, and entering into a coalition with the BJP in 2006.

Having inked an agreement to share power, the two parties formed a government, which is popularly known as the ‘20:20’ government. By ascending the seat of power first (on February 3, 2006), Kumaraswamy had become Karnataka’s 18th chief minister.

In the 20 months as chief minister, Kumaraswamy had popularised his ‘grama vastavya’ and ‘janata darshan’ programmes. Kumaraswamy, however, scripted his own downfall by dishonouring the commitment he had made to the BJP. He resigned from his post on November 2, 2007.

Ever since, Kumaraswamy has been desperate in his quest for power. Unmindful of the two heart surgeries he has undergone (2007 and September 2017), Kumaraswamy toured the entire state ahead of the 2018 Assembly elections in a bid to bring his party to power.

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(Published 22 May 2018, 17:13 IST)

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