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Rediff.com  » News » For the Gowdas, it's all in the family

For the Gowdas, it's all in the family

January 25, 2008 12:46 IST
 Dynasty politics is not a new phenomenon in India. We have the Gandhis, the Chautalas, the Scindias and the Pilots. In Karnataka, the Gowdas have been repeatedly accused of running the Janata Dal-Secular like a family party.

The newest entrant in the Gowda family drama is former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil Gowda.

Nikhil had hit the headlines last year for all the wrong reasons. After his brawl at an upmarket Bangalore hotel attracted much publicity, Nikhil has been keeping a low profile.

However, with elections round the corner, Nikhil will be seen helping his father with the pre-poll campaigning. After JD-S supremo H D Deve Gowda, his sons H D Kumaraswamy and H D Revanna, Nikhil will represent the third generation in the party.

Deve Gowda is particularly fond of his grandson and has always considered him as the successor to their political legacy. When Nikhil's involvement in the brawl was grabbing headlines, Gowda senior left not stone unturned to defend him. He was also upset about the manner in which the media went hammer and tongs against his grandson.

This year, Kumaraswamy plans to follow the Bharatiya Janata Party's strategy of organising road shows. The former chief minister will tour the state in a specially designed bus, which will have a toilet, a TV, a mini refrigerator, an elevator to lift the leader to address the crowd and a very powerful sound system.

Nikhil has been put in charge of overseeing the design of this hi-tech bus. Both father and son share a common passion for vehicles. Kumaraswamy reportedly own a Hummer, a Porsche Carera and a Lexus.

Although Nikhil will not be actively involved in politics, he is following in his father's footsteps. Kumaraswamy had assisted his father Deve Gowda as campaign manager before entering into active politics.

Sources say that the family wants Nikhil to understand the nitty gritty of the game before he takes the plunge. However, Nikhil is still in his early 20s and he will not enter politics anytime soon. Sources say that he will assist his father for the next five years and he will be groomed by the many politicians in his family during that time.

Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore