Deve Gowda – The master of cuts & swings
Ritesh K Srivastava
Janata Dal (S) chief and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda is a formidable force in the state politics of Karnataka, and regarded as a dark horse who could emerge as a strong contender for the country’s top job if the Third Front comes to power after General Elections.The veteran politician considers himself fortunate as he entered politics at a time when masses and political parties had great admiration for democratic institutions. He feels the entry of criminals and money power in politics, supported by caste based politics, has posed a grave threat to the health of democracy in India.
The master politician feels that all political parties, who play a major role in national politics, must take the blame for helplessly watching the great institutions of democracy being converted into dens of corruption.
Gowda has always opposed attempts to fiddle with the federal character of the Constitution and the emergence of regionalism over national interest, which has no relevance in a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religious country.
Deve Gowda, regarded a leader of the farmers, has dedicated his entire life to improve the miserable condition of farmers. He strongly feels that benefits of economic boom, which has generated millions of new jobs and strengthened the economy, must also reach the poor and the downtrodden.
Deve Gowda displays confidence that the Third Front will surely come to power, since the regional parties are now completely disillusioned with both the Congress and the BJP.
Political analysts feel that the JD (S) chief is toying with the idea of becoming the President of India and wants BSP chief Mayawati’s support for the same. Gowda offered his support to Mayawati for Prime Minister’s post only after a low key response by AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa on the issue.
Both Mayawati and Gowda share a humble background and the latter would not shy away from backing the former in case there is a swing of situation in Maya’s favour.
Born on May 18, 1933 in Haradanahalli village of Holenarasipura taluk, Hassan District in Karnataka, Deve Gowda’s father was a farmer, who had only 4 acres of land to support his big family.
A civil engineer by profession, Gowda was the sole bread winner of his family, but he jumped into politics in 1959. He defeated the formidable Congress as an Independent MLA in 1962, when he was just 28-years-old. In his political career spanning over five decades, Deve Gowda has tasted success in seven Assembly and five Parliamentary elections.
He also had his share of ups and downs in politics when he lost state Assembly polls in 1989 and Lok Sabha polls in 1999.
For his conduct as a responsible MLA and MP, Deve Gowda has earned accolades even from his worst opponents, who have been mesmerised by his excellent oratory skills.