H. D. Deve Gowda

H. D. Deve Gowda

H. D. Deve Gowda

Date of Birth : May 18, 1933

Mini Biography :

Deve Gowda was born in 1933 in Haradanahalli village of Holenarasipura taluk, Hassan District in Karnataka. A Civil Engineering diploma holder, he plunged into politics at the early age when he joined the Congress Party in 1953 and remained a member till 1962. He was the President of Anjaneya Co-operative Society and later as a member of Taluk Development Board, Holenarasipura.

Starting from lower strata of the democratic set-up, Shri Gowda ascended the political rungs gradually. He earned himself a niche in the minds of people while serving as the President of Anjaneya Co-operative Society and later as a member of Taluk Development Board, Holenarasipura.

Hoping to set right the inequalities prevailing in society, he always dreamt of an ideal utopian State. When just 28 years old, the youthful Gowda contested as an Independent and was a runaway success from day one when he first became a member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in 1962. An effective Speaker on the floor of the Assembly, he was acclaimed by one and all, including his seniors. Holenarasipur constituency sent him to the Assembly for three more consecutive terms i.e., the Fourth (1967-71); the Fifth (1972-77) and the Sixth (1978-83) Assemblies.

His service as the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, from March 1972 to March 1976 and November 1976 to December 1977, won him laurels.

Shri Deve Gowda resigned his membership of the Sixth Assembly on November 22, 1982. As a member of the Seventh and the Eighth Assembly, he served as the Minister of Public Works and Irrigation. His tenure as Irrigation Minister saw the switching on of many irrigation projects. He resigned from the Cabinet in 1987 protesting against insufficient allocation of funds for Irrigation.

Elected to Parliament from Hassan Lok Sabha constituency in 1991, he was instrumental in bringing the problems of the State – especially of farmers – to the forefront. He earned respect for his forthright espousal of the plight of farmers, in Parliament. He also earned a name for practising and upholding the prestige and dignity and Parliament and its institutions.

Shri Deve Gowda became the President of Janta party twice at State level and President of State Janata Dal in 1994. He was the driving force behind the Janata Dal’s rise to power in the State in 1994. He was elected as the leader of the Janata Dal Legislative Party and on December 11, 1994 he assumed office as the 14th Chief Minister of Karnataka. He then contested as a candidate from Ramanagar Assembly constituency and won by a thumping majority.

His prolonged experience in active politics and his strong base at the grassroots level enabled him to plunge straightway into the task of tackling many problems faced by the State. His political acumen was tested again when he brought the Idgah Maidan issue at Hubli to the forefront. It was a ground that belonged to the minority community and was the butt of political controversy. Shri Gowda successfully brought about a peaceful solution to the issue.

In January 1995, Shri Gowda toured Switzerland and attended the Forum of International Economists. His tours to European and Middle Eastern countries were a testimony to his achievements as a dedicated politician. His tour to Singapore, which brought in the much needed foreign investment to the State, proved his business acumen.

Since the 70s, friends as well as foes have been commenting on his singular pre-occupation with politics and its processes. His politics, says Shri Gowda, is the politics of the people and he is happy when he is surrounded by people and is doing something for them.

Shri Gowda is known for giving patient hearing to all shades of opinions and is equally at home with the elite when they come calling. Affectionately called the ‘son of the soil’ (dharti ke lal), he has proved to be one of the most ardent supporters of liberalisation with a human face.

In 1989, his group of the Janata Party fared poorly in Karnataka winning just 2 of the 222 Assembly seats it contested; Shri Gowda himself tasting defeat for the first time in his career losing in both constituencies he contested. He is therefore, no stranger to the fickleness of political fortunes.

Born to Shri Dodde Gowda and Smt. Devamma, Shri Deve Gowda is proud of his simple agricultural background. Married to Smt. Chennamma, the couple have four sons and two daughters. One of the sons is an MLA in Karnataka and another one was elected to the Lok Sabha.
When the Congress party was defeated in the 1996 general elections and Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao resigned, Deve Gowda became prime minister of the United Front coalition government after BJP failed to form a government.

The leadership of the Third Front (a group of regional parties and Non-Congress and Non-BJP combine) leading to Prime Ministership came to Shri Gowda without him seriously aspiring for it.

Shri Deve Gowda resigned as the Chief Minister of Karnataka on May 30, 1996 to be sworn in as the 11th Prime Minister of India.

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