Very few believed HD Kumaraswamy when he had repeatedly asserted in the run up to the Karnataka elections that he would not be the “king maker” but the “king” himself.
However, the 58-year-old JD(S) leader who is also the state president of the party, is now enjopying the last laugh as he prepares himself to become the next chief minister of Karnataka following the resignition of BJP hopeful B.S. Yeddyurappa within 48 hours of being sworn in as the chief minister of the state.
Kumaranna, as he is fondly addressed to by his followers, often displayed a sense of desperation in his assertions.
“If you want to see me alive, please ensure JD(S) comes to power,” he had said while attempting to beseech voters at one of his rallies close to the end of the campaigning period. There were tears rolling down his cheeks then.
Kumaraswamy has been making appeals to voters to provide him one last chance to be CM again. He had been the CM of the state for a short period of 20 months in 2006-2007. But his becoming the chief minister is not without a touch of irony because the JD(S) has only 38 MLAs in an assembly that has 224 members.
Kumaraswamy was born in Haradanahalli of Holenarsipura taluk in Hassan district and got his initial education in Hassan. He had then shifted to Bengaluru. He is a BSc graduate from National College, Jayanagar. He had always said that politics had not been his first choice of a career ever.
He started off producing films before he was accidentally pushed into politics. He was chosen to be the heir to the family of H D Deve Gowda and was chosen over and above heirship claims of Deve Gowda’s elder son H D Revanna who was then an MLA from Holenarsipura.
Kumaraswamy won his first ever contest in electoral politics when he turned out victorious form the Kanakapura Lok Sabha seat in 1996. While there was boost to the political career of Kumaraswamy because of the political statues of his father as the prime minister of the country, he also faced defeat in the 1998 Lok Sabha election from Kanakapura. He again had to face defeat at the hands of his arch-rival DK Shivakumar from Sathanur during the 1999 assembly elections.
He saw his political career getting a turnaround when he won a seat in the 2004 assembly elections. Despite the JD(S) forming a coalition with the Congress that year for government formation, Kumaraswamy ditched the alliance and got together with the BJP to become the chief minister. He was drive by his political ambitions.
Kumaraswamy also created the chance for the BJP to come to power in a major South Indian state for the first time in 2008 when he again ditched the BJP in their agreement for power-sharing.
And despite the fact that Kumaraswamy had earned some good reputation as the chief minister of Karnataka driven by his populist steps such as “grama vastavya” where he stayed in villages to show off his rural moorings, it was not enough for the JD(S) to gain much popularity.
(Adapted from TheTimesofInida.com)