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The Rediff Special/ M S Dhaan in Bangalore
Man who could become Karnataka's CM
January 19, 2006
His penchant for astrologers and tantriks equal that of his father. But 46-year-old H D Kumaraswamy, Kumaranna to those close to him, had no known moorings in the political arena. However, on Wednesday he went one step ahead of his father in pulling down the Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress coalition in Karnataka.
Sources say that an astrologer was responsible for what Haradanahalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda called the worst day of his life. The pundit apparently told Kumaraswamy: "If you delay you will never become chief minister." It was this that prompted him to gather 40-odd supporters and go to Raj Bhavan and give Governor T N Chaturvedi the letter withdrawing support to the Dharam Singh-led coalition.
Kumaraswamy's act reminded political observers of Deve Gowda's tactics in pulling down the Ramakrishna Hegde ministry two decades ago.
Though he had no political experience, Kumaraswamy (born December 19, 1959) won the Kanakapura (Bangalore Rural District) Lok Sabha seat in 1996.
Though he claimed to be a farmer like his father, he was more interested in producing movies, some of which saw box office success.
He sought re-election from Kanakapura in 1998 and lost. He tried his luck from the Sathanur assembly seat in 1999 and lost there too.
The elections in 2004 saw him entering the state assembly by winning the seat from Ramanagaram.
But his political ambitions could not be fulfilled. His elder brother H D Revanna got the public works and energy ministry in the Dharam Singh ministry. This prompted him to go ahead with his own agenda.
He, thus, became working president of state JD-S and targeted then deputy chief minister Siddaramaiah. Siddaramaiah's fall came when he ignored Kumaraswamy and went ahead with his own agenda of governance.
Kumaraswamy then took advantage of the growing discontent within the JD-S over the Congress extending support to Siddaramaiah's newly-formed All India Progressive Janata Dal during the recent taluk and zilla panchayat elections.
Even as Gowda senior was making noises about pulling out of the alliance, his youngest son collected 40-odd of his party's younger turks and met on Tuesday on the outskirts of Bangalore. None of the party's senior leaders were aware of the goings on.
Deve Gowda may be an unhappy man today, but his son is only following his footsteps of furthering his political ambitions by splitting a political party. In the process, political observers feel he may have split the Gowda family too.
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