Janta Dal president H. D. Deve Gowda was the 11th Prime Minister of India. He served the country as PM of the country from 1 June 1996 to 21 April 1997.
Gowda was born on 18 May 1933 in Haradanahalli, a village in Holenarasipura Taluk, of the erstwhile Kingdom of Mysore (now in Hassan, Karnataka) into a Vokkaliga caste family, which is categorised as an other backward class by the Indian government. His father Dodde Gowda was a paddy farmer and mother, Devamma, a housewife.
Gowda earned a diploma in civil engineering from L. V. Polytechnic, Hassan, in the late 1950s. He married Chennamma in 1954. They have six children together: four sons including politician H. D. Revanna and H. D. Kumaraswamy who is current Chief Minister of Karnataka. and two daughters.
H. D. Deve Gowda’s Political career:
Joining of Congress
Gowda joined the Indian National Congress party in 1953 and remained a member until 1962. During that period, he was President of Anjaneya Cooperative Society of Holenarasipura and later became a member of the Taluk Development Board of Holenarasipura.
In 1962, Gowda was elected to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly from Holenarasipura constituency as an independent candidate. Later, he was elected from the same constituency to the Assembly for six consecutive terms from 1962 to 1989. He joined the Congress (O) during the Congress split and served as the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly from March 1972 to March 1976 and again from November 1976 to December 1977. During the emergency (1975–77), he was imprisoned in the Bangalore Central Jail.
In Janata Party
Gowda was twice the President of the state unit of the Janata Party. He served as a minister in the Janata Party Government in Karnataka headed by Ramakrishna Hedge from 1983 to 1988. He became President of the state unit of Janata Dal in 1994 and was the driving force behind the victory of the party in the 1994 state assembly elections. He was elected from the Ramanagara sworn in as the 14th Chief Minister of Karnataka in December.
As Prime Minister
In the 1996 general elections, the Congress party headed by P.V. Narasimha Rao lost decisively but no other party won enough seats to form a government. When the United front (a conglomeration of non-Congress and non-BJP regional parties) decided to form the Government at the Centre with the support of the Congress, Deve Gowda was unexpectedly chosen to head the government and became the 11th Prime Minister of India. He took over as Prime Minister of India on 1 June 1996 and continued until 11 April 1997. Also, he was the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the United Front, the policy-making apex body of all the constituents of the ruling front.
Janata Dal (Secular)
In 1999, when some senior leaders of the party decided to join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA, the party split into factions. Many leaders, including Madhu Dandawate, joined the Janata Dal (Secular) faction headed by Deve Gowda, who became the National president of this faction.
He was defeated in the 1999 general elections but staged a comeback by winning the Kanakapura By-elections in 2002.
The 2004 elections in Karnataka witnessed the revival of his party’s fortunes with the Janata Dal (Secular) winning 58 seats and becoming a part of the ruling coalition in the state. Later, the party joined with the BJP and formed an alternate government in 2006. His son H. D. Kumaraswamy headed the BJP-JD(S) coalition government in the state for 20 months. In the 2008 state elections, the party performed poorly and won just 28 seats, but it has remained a significant force in South Karnataka.
Deve Gowda expelled Siddaramaiah and CM Ibrahim from JDS party because Siddaramaiah led AHINDA movement; representing the minority, backward, and Dalit people in Karnataka. Later, both Siddaramiah and CM Ibrahim joined the Indian National Congress, which won the 2013 Vidhana Sabha election. Siddaramaiah was elected as the Chief Minister of Karnataka state in 2013.
In 2008, JDS did not transfer the power to BJP with B. S. Yeddyurappa as CM in accord to the initial negotiation. This led to major setback for JDS in 2008 Vidhan Sabha election, JDS received only 28 seats compared to 58 seats in the 2004 vidhana sabha election. Since B. S. Yeddyurappa is from Lingayath community, largest in the Karnataka state, many leaders in JDS from Lingayat community such as M. P. Prakash quit the party. B. S. Yeddyurappa was elected as the Chief Minister of Karnataka state in 2008. Deve Gowda abused B. S. Yeddyurappa, who was then chief minister of Karnataka. This event was termed as “a new low in Indian politics” Gowda later apologized for hurling abuse at the chief minister of Karnataka.
Both B. S. Yeddyurappa and Siddaramaiah eventually became Chief Minister of Karnataka state. JDS party led by Deve Gowda did not make an impact in Karnataka politics from 2008 till the 2018 general elections. In the 2018 Karnataka Assembly general elections, held on 12th May, there was a 3-front competition between INC, BJP and JD(S). BJP won 104 seats, INC won 78 seats and JD(S) won 37 seats to become the King-maker. INC did not want to loose out to BJP and hence immediately have offered unconditional support to JD(S), to form the cabinet. But the governor of Karnataka has rejected this majority support and has called on for BS Yeddyurappa to become CM and prove majority in 2 weeks. JDS and INC approached the supreme court with the allegation on Governor who misused his powers to form the Karnataka state cabinet & showed partiality. And allowed the BJP to form the cabinet with insufficient seats (i.e. 104) Supreme court given judgment that BJP have to prove the strength in a day i.e on 19th May 2018 in the Assembly. On 19th May B. S. Yeddyurappa failed to prove the majority & hence he resigned after a emotional speech on the floor of assembly. On 23rd of may H. D. Kumaraswamy (Head of coalation INC & JDS) sworn in as CM & proved majority on 25th of may on the floor of assembly.