His astute moves ensured he sat in the chief ministerial chair for 20 months last time, will he complete a full term now?

Film producer kingmaker CM The many hats donned by HD Kumaraswamy in Ktaka
news Karnataka 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - 16:33

The roller-coaster ride following the election results in Karnataka has finally ended. JD(S) State President HD Kumaraswamy was sworn in as the 24th Chief Minister of the state on Wednesday.

With the state seeing a fractured mandate, the Congress, which bagged 78 seats, moved quickly to woo the JD(S), which had won 38 seats.

Despite the BJP winning 104 seats and being asked to form the government, the party was unable to show the numbers on the floor of the Assembly, and BS Yeddyurappa stepped down just two days after taking the oath as Chief Minister.

Who is HD Kumaraswamy?

Haradanahalli Deve Gowda Kumaraswamy is the third son of former Prime Minister and JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda and Chennamma Deve Gowda.

Born on December 19, 1959, in Hassan district’s Holenarasipura, Kumaraswamy completed his schooling there and moved to Bengaluru city. He studied in National College, where he received a Bachelors of Science degree.

From an early age, Kumaraswamy was passionate about films and was an avid movie-goer. Kumaraswamy, who is an ardent fan of Sandalwood icon Rajkumar, had decided to enter the movie business.

Upon completing his education, he became the manager of a theatre in Hassan. It was here that he began building his career in the films.

Popularly known as Kumaranna among his followers and well-wishers, Kumaraswamy went on to produce and distribute many superhit Sandalwood films including Ghalate Aliyandru, Suryavamsha and Premotsava. In the recent years, he has produced Jaguar, starring his son Nikhil, and Chandra Chakori.

In 2002, he was elected as the President of the Karnataka Cinema Theatre Owners Association. He also owns a movie theatre in Holenarasipura named Channambike Theatre.

Although, he was not inclined toward politics initially, Kumaraswamy first appeared in the political sphere in 1996 when he was elected the MP of Kanakapura constituency.

During his tenure as MP, Kumaraswamy has exposed the illegal activities of several politicians by releasing what he claimed was proof in CDs. This earned him the name ‘CD Kumaranna’.

Kumaraswamy has been elected as MP twice - once from from Kanakapura (1996) and Bengaluru Rural (2009). He has also been elected as an MLA four times - from Ramanagara segment in 2004, 2008, 2013 and 2018. Kumaraswamy also won from Channapatna in the recent elections.

Despite his record of winning Lok Sabha elections, it was only after his victory in the 2004 Assembly election that Kumaraswamy became a well-known figure in Karnataka politics.

Kumaraswamy’s entry into JD(S) was a boon to the party. He began focussing on regions around Bengaluru, particularly Bengaluru Rural, Ramanagaram, Chikkaballapur and Kolar. This helped the party expand its influence in southern Karnataka.

Kumaraswamy is also credited for bringing in several Vokkaliga sub-castes into the JD(S)’ fold after expanding the party influence.

The king maker

In 2006, when Siddaramaiah, who was then with the JD(S), had rebelled, decided to quit the party and take some of the most prominent JD(S) leaders with him, Kumaraswamy’s deft moves resulted in a BJP-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka. It was his political acumen during troubled times that earned him the title of ‘king maker’.

In 2006, Kumaraswamy signed an agreement to share power with the BJP. The agreement was that Kumaraswamy would be the Chief Minister for 20 months, while Yeddyurappa would take oath as CM for another 20 months. This infamous deal lead to the government being called the ‘20:20’ government.

On February 3, 2006, Kumaraswamy became the 18th Chief Minister of the state. In the 20 months as the CM of Karnataka, Kumaraswamy had introduced programmes such as ‘grama vastavya’ and ‘janata darshan’. The grama vastavya program saw Kumaraswamy visit remote villages and take stock of the issues faced by the people first-hand.

Just when Kumaraswamy was familiarising himself with the issues of the state, his decision to not abide by the agreement with the BJP led to his downfall. He resigned from his post on November 2, 2007.

Once again, HD Kumaraswamy has reached the pinnacle of power. Previous alliances with the BJP and Congress have proved disastrous for him. Will he complete his term this time?


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