News headlines

PTI - Exclusive Daijiworld caricatures by Harini

Bangalore, Feb 3:  Scripting an unexpected sequel for the JDS in Karnataka, film producer-turned-Chief Minister, H D Kumaraswamy, has come a long way from being a pawn to a grandmaster in Karnataka's fluid power game.

Starting off as a political novice in 1996 after being goaded by his mother Chennama, to marshalling a revolt of the JDS turks against his own father and party patriach H D Deve Gowda, the 46-year-old Kumaraswamy's political career has been punctuated by two hits and three flops at the hustings, rounded off by an Alfred Hitchcock climax in the last week.

Kumaraswamy's debut into politics in 1996 started on a sweet note when he romped home from the Kanakapura parliamentary constituency. The success of Kumaraswamy, still a greenhorn in politics, was lauded by his father and mentor, Gowda, the then Prime Minister.

However, his subsequent attempts to pitch for power in 1998 and 1999 failed when he lost out to Congress' M Chandrashekara Murthy. His attempt to wrest the seat in Sathanur assembly constituency was another political debacle.

The year 1999 also marked a downswing for the Gowda clan with father Gowda losing out in his hometurf Hassan and elder sibling Revanna forced to bite the dust from the family's traditional seat Holenarsipura.

But Kumaraswamy, a staunch believer in astrology, a trait shared by his father, saw the stars favouring him again when he won from the family's 'auspicious seat' Ramanagaram assembly constituency, which he currently represents.

But his victory failed to find him a berth in the ministry unlike the politically shrewd Revanna, who bagged the post of the Energy and PWD minister. Not ready to play second fiddle in politics, Kumaraswamy apparently began taking cues from his film career where he began as a nondescript film distributor before working his way to being a producer of five films, including three superhits.

Pulling strings subtly and putting his political skill to best use, Kumaraswamy became the party's working president.

Perceptibly reticent but a master strategist who was not ready to rest on his laurels, he worked his way up and is partly blamed for the ouster of political heavy weight in his party, Siddaramaiah, the former Deputy Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, sensing the incredible trust displayed by the Congress in the JDS and its complacency, Kumaraswamy moved quickly and swiftly, garnering all the dissenting voices together within his party.

As the Congress continued to display benign diplomacy (despite Deve Gowda's outburst that all was not right with the coalition), Kumaraswamy rendered the perfect coup d'etat when he split the JDS, pulling the rug from under its napping coalition partner and staking claim to form a government with BJP.

In a blow to his father's professed secular ideology, Kumaraswamy was not willing to heed Gowda's appeal to retreat from his Machiavellian move.

Unwilling to play the villain in the 'family drama', with his father almost disowning him, the prodigal son moved to convince Gowda that the step was only to "avenge" the humiliation and apathy displayed by the Congress to the JDS supremo.

The efforts paid off with Gowda backing his son in the run-up to a nerve-biting climax.

Sensing the BJP's yearning for power in the state, Kumaraswamy bargained with the saffron party using his proven business acumen to get the best out of the deal, the post of the Chief Minister.

Well aware that he was in a win-win situation, Kumaraswamy aligned with the party's hitherto `political untouchable', the BJP, which had emerged as the single largest party in the last elections but failed to make it to the corridors of power.

The drama within the well of the house, the Speaker ruling in his favour and the subsequent failure of Dharam Singh to move the confidence motion, all went to help Kumaraswamy to realise his 'reel' dreams.

With the political roulette having been won, Kumaraswamy would now have to deliver on various fronts--ensuring a stable alliance of the green and saffron, good governance, fast paced development and transparency; a tall order for a first time MLA who took over as Chief Minister. PTI

How the developments unfolded - from Daijiworld archives:


Top Stories

Leave a Comment

Title: News headlines

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.