Who is HD Kumaraswamy, the man who could be new Karnataka Chief Minister: 10 things to know

This would be an unlikely second term as CM for Kumaraswamy.

Who is HD Kumaraswamy, the man who could be new Karnataka Chief Minister: 10 things to know
He may have been expecting to play kingmaker, but things have gone quite differently for HD Kumaraswamy.

HD Kumaraswamy has been handed an unexpected opportunity by the Karnataka Assembly election results 2018. Despite winning only 37 of the 222 seats whose results were announced on Tuesday, Kumaraswamy is now the unlikely favourite to become the next Chief Minister of Karnataka.

Here are 10 things you should know about HD Kumaraswamy:

1.     He is the son of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda. He is presently the Karnataka state president of the Janata Dal (Secular), or JDS. Kumaraswamy is referred to by his supporters as 'Kumaranna'. 
2.     He contested from two seats in the Karnataka Assembly elections and has won from both seats - in the Channapatna constituency by about 21500 votes, and from his usual Ramanagaram constituency by about 22600 votes. He will now have to resign from one of these two seats, and a bye-election will have to be held within six months.
3.     Having made his foray into politics as a member of the party that his father leads, Kumaraswamy has been an election machine. Having made his electoral debut in 1996, he has contested elections a total of nine times in just 22 years. To put that in perspective, Karnataka has faced 11 elections in these 22 years - six Lok Sabha polls and five Assembly elections.
4.     Of these nine poll outings, Kumaraswamy has won six times (2018 AS, 2013 AS, 2008 AS and 2004 AS; and LS 2009 and LS 1996 ) and lost thrice (AS 1999; and LS 1999 and LS 1998). He did not contest in the 2014 and 2004 Lok Sabha elections.
5.     Kumaraswamy has been the Karnataka CM for a short term once before - from February 2006 to November 2007. This had been made possible by a power sharing agreement with the BJP. He was supposed to hand over the CM's post to BJP's BS Yeddyurappa, but refused to and resigned, leading to President's Rule.
6.     Kumaraswamy is 58 years old. He was born in 1959 in his ancestral village of Haradanahalli in Karnataka's Hassan District. His full name is 'Haradanahalli Devegowda Kumaraswamy'. His primary education was at a government school, after which he went to Bangalore's MES Educational Institution for his high schooling. He completed his PUC from Vijaya College and his BSc from Bangalore's National College.
7.     Before entering active politics in 1996, Kumaraswamy's was a noted film producer, distributor and exhibitor. He has said in interviews that he entered the film industry after being enamoured with Kannada film icon Rajkumar.
8.     Kumaraswamy's son, HK Nikhil Gowda, is seen as a rising star in the Kannada film industry. He campaigned for the party of his father, grandfather and uncle ahead of the 2018 Karnataka Assembly elections, and was also said to be instrumental in bringing in a number of film industry faces on the campaign trail.
9.     Kumaraswamy is married to Anitha Kumaraswamy, who has also taken a shot or two at electoral fortunes, with more unfortunate outcomes.
10.    Kumaraswamy is also accused of bigamy. Kannada actress Radhika, aka 'Kutty Radhika', had claimed that she has been married to him since 2006, and that they have a daughter together. This has been the focus of public interest litigations over the apparent violation of the Hindu Marriages Act.

 

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