Former PM Deve Gowda celebrates 90th birthday

Former Prime Minister and JD(S) patriarch H.D. Deve Gowda is celebrating his 90th birthday on Thursday.

Known as son of the soil, Haradanahalli Dodde Gowda Deve Gowda is the only politician from Karnataka who saw a meteoric rise in politics and went on to become the Prime Minister of the country.

Deve Gowda, an ardent believer of Hindu traditions, is still pursuing active politics and campaigned across the state in the recently-concluded Assembly elections. He had challenged national parties and proclaimed before the elections that there is no Modi wave in the state.

JD(S) won 19 seats dashing Deve Gowda’s hopes to see his son H.D. Kumaraswamy to become the king maker. Deve Gowda still remains as the most influential politician of the state and an iconic figure of the Vokkaliga community. He also emerged as the leader of masses cutting across caste and creed.

He was born on May 18, 1933 at Haradanahalli village in Holenarasipura taluk of Hassan district. He completed a civil engineering diploma and came into the field of politics at the age of 20 years. He joined Congress party in 1953 and remained a member till 1962.

Deve Gowda contested as an independent candidate at the age of 28 years and got elected as MLA in 1962. He represented the Holenarasipura seat and was jailed during the emergency. His service as the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, from March 1972 to March 1976 and November 1976 to December 1977, won him laurels.

He became the 14th CM of Karnataka in 1994. Under his leadership, the Idgah Maidan controversy of Hubballi which divided the entire state on communal lines and made national news, was resolved.

After resigning as the chief minister on May 30, 1996 he was sworn in as the 11th Prime Minister.