While it was a battle for the chief ministership between Janata Dal Secular leader HD Kumaraswamy and Bharatiya Janata Party’s BS Yeddyurappa, the man who emerged as the hero for the winning JDS-Congress alliance was Doddalahalli Kempegowda Shivakumar, popularly known as DK Shivakumar.
Amid the political parleys and the fears of horse-trading, it was Shivakumar, Minister of Energy is the Siddaramaiah government, who kept the winning alliance flock together, and made sure that there was no defection. And this not the first time when the Congress man came to the rescue of the party.
He had emerged as the face saver for the Congress when Vilasrao Deshmukh government was in crisis in Maharashtra in 2002. And then again in 2017 when senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel was struggling to make the cut in the Rajya Sabha elections.
The big political break for the Vokkaliga leader came when he was asked by the Congress party to contest against HD Deve Gowda from Sathanur constituency. Though he lost that election, but that remained the only election wherein he did not emerge victorious.
Even in the recently-concluded Assembly elections, he won from Kanakapura constituency against JDS leader Narayana Gowda by 49,660 votes. This was his third consecutive win from the Assembly seat after 2008 and 2013.
According to the Association for Democratic Reforms, Shivakumar was among the five richest leaders who contested the 2018 Karnataka Assembly elections. He showed an increase of Rs 588 crore in his assets since 2013. He had then declared his assets worth Rs 251 crore, and in 2018, he declared Rs 840 crore-worth assets.
He has also had his share of trouble with the Income Tax department, which raided his various properties in 2017. Raids were conducted in several cities – New Delhi, Bengaluru, Mysuru, Chennai and his hometown Kanakpura.
However, unfazed by these, Shivakumar remains a loyal crisis manager for the Congress party, helping it on not one but several occasions.