Haradanahalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda, affectionately called “Mannina Maga” (Son of the soil) was the 14th Chief Minister of Karnataka.
He is an influential leader who held the chair of Chief Minister between the 11th of December 1994 and the 31st of May 1996. He was succeeded by J. H. Patel in the Chief Ministers office.
Deve Gowda has fought 16 direct elections, won 13 elections and has been MP or MLA since 1962 except for 1989-91.
The Epic Political Career of H. D. Deve Gowda
Haradanahalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda was born into a family of ordinary means. His empathy with the plight of the farmers in the state comes from his upbringing as a farmer’s son. H. D. Deve Gowda graduated with a civil engineering degree from Smt. L V Polytechnic College located in Hassan.
Deve Gowda’s political career began with his affiliation to the Indian National Congress party between 1953 and 1962. His political interest was kindled further by his role as president of Anjaneya Cooperative Society and as a member of the Taluk Development board in a town called Holenarasipura located in the district of Hassan.
His zeal and enthusiasm to work for the people led to his election to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly for six consecutive tenures from 1962 to 1989. He did not, however, stand for elections as a candidate from Congress, he was an independent candidate from Holenarasipura Taluk.
Post the infamous Congress split, Deve Gowda joined forces with Congress-O and was elected to the post of Leader of Opposition twice between March 1972 and March 1976 and once again between November 1976 and December 1977.
Deve Gowda’s association with the Janata Dal party sparked off a tenure of resounding success for the party and Deve Gowda himself. As the President of the Janata party in 1994, he led the party to a tremendous victory in the State Assembly elections. The win catapulted H. D. Deve Gowda into the post of Chief Minister.
During his term as Chief Minister, Deve Gowda reiterated his position for the poor farmers and brought forward numerous policies that unquestionably changed the fortunes of many farmers and poor people.
Further Deve Gowda also brought in foreign investments to the country through his tours and attending seminars across the globe.
A Prime Minister in the Making
The 1996 general elections changed H. D. Deve Gowda’s political career for the better. A coalition government chose H. D. Deve Gowda to be the Prime Minister of India. His tenure as Prime Minister lasted between June 1, 1996 and April 21, 1997.
H. D. Deve Gowda held various offices before and after his term as Prime Minister. In a political career spanning over 50 years, Deve Gowda has proved time and again that he is one of the few politicians that has a firm finger on the dynamic pulse of not only Karnataka, but also India.
The fortunes of the parties led by H. D. Deve Gowda have seen resounding successes and silent failures that could not be predicted. The constant factor between all the wins and losses was Deve Gowda’s intent to serve the people and create a future that everybody can be proud of.