Who is Congress leader DK Shivakumar? A look at the rise of one of India's richest ministers

The Congress’s most powerful Vokkaliga leader is currently at the centre of a storm, thanks to Wednesday’s raids by the I-T department.
Who is Congress leader DK Shivakumar? A look at the rise of one of India's richest ministers
Who is Congress leader DK Shivakumar? A look at the rise of one of India's richest ministers
Written by:

From his earliest days in Karnataka politics, Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar has been an astute leader who has always played his cards well.

Shivakumar contested the 1989 elections as an independent candidate. But just two years later, he became the youngest minister in the state at the age of 30, serving as a Minister of State under Chief Minister S Bangarappa from 1991 to 1992.

Shivakumar received this high honour because, when Veerendra Patil was forced to step down as CM owing to ill-health, Shivakumar was integral to building up support for Bangarappa as the next CM. Bangarappa showed his gratitude to Shivakumar by inducting him as a minister.

Ever since those early days, Shivakumar has maintained his stature as a strong leader with mass roots.  

Shivakumar is arguably the most powerful Vokkaliga leader now in the Congress, after former CM SM Krishna left the party to join the BJP earlier in 2017.

55-year-old Shivakumar, who currently holds the portfolio of Energy, has held the Urban Development and Home portfolios in previous Congress governments.

Born into a farmer family, Shivakumar has been a member of the Congress since the beginning of his political career, after playing a leading role in the Youth Congress since his RC College days. He held the position of General Secretary of Karnataka State Youth Congress during 1983-85. His first electoral success came when he was elected to the Zilla Panchayat in 1987.

He became an MLA for the first time in 1989 from Sathanur defeating the Janata Party candidate by a large margin, after losing out to former PM HD Deve Gowda from the same seat in 1985 with a slender margin. Since, then he has been an MLA six times.

Hailing from Kanakpura, Shivakumar is known as a good organiser within the party ranks.

Shivakumar also remained a favourite of many senior party leaders such as Bangarappa and SM Krishna. It was Shivakumar who convinced SM Krishna to come out of political oblivion and get elected to the Rajya Sabha.

Shivakumar has also held chief ministerial ambitions, and has maintained a strong presence as a leader on the ground. He is often seen touring various constituencies of the state, and has maintained strong links with leaders of the NSUI and the Youth Congress.  


According to his election affidavit, he identified himself as an educationist and a social worker. But Shivakumar grabbed eyeballs when he declared a wealth of Rs 251 crore in his election affidavit prior to the 2013 polls. This incidentally made him the second richest minister in the country at that time, according to a TOI report.

Other than this, he has been alleged to have been involved in illegal granite mining. He along with his family were issued notices by the Karnataka High Court in 2015.

He was also a party to land grabbing cases along with his brother DK Suresh in the Shantinagar Housing Cooperative Society case, but was later gave a clean chit by his cabinet colleague HS Mahadev Prasad.  

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute