H.D. Deve Gowda
Shri H. D. Deve Gowda, a staunch crusader of socio-economic development and an ardent admirer of
cultural heritage of India, was born on May 18, 1933 in Haradanahalli village of Holenarasipura
Hassan District in Karnataka.
A Civil Engineering Diploma holder, Shri Deve Gowda plunged into active politics at the early
age of 20
when, after completing his education, he joined the Congress Party in 1953 and remained a member
Coming from a middle class agrarian background and exposed to the hardships of farmer’s life,
vowed to become a fighter who would take up the cause of poor farmers, under privileged and
sections of society.
Starting from lower strata of the democratic set-up, Shri Gowda ascended the political rungs
earned himself a niche in the minds of people while serving as the President of Anjaneya
Society and later as a member of Taluk Development Board, Holenarasipura.
Hoping to set right the inequalities prevailing in society, he always dreamt of an ideal utopian
just 28 years old, the youthful Gowda contested as an Independent and was a runaway success from
when he first became a member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in 1962. An effective
Speaker on the
floor of the Assembly, he was acclaimed by one and all, including his seniors. Holenarasipur
sent him to the Assembly for three more consecutive terms i.e., the Fourth (1967-71); the Fifth
and the Sixth (1978-83) Assemblies.
His service as the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, from March 1972 to March 1976 and
December 1977, won him laurels. Shri Deve Gowda resigned his membership of the Sixth Assembly on
22, 1982. As a member of the Seventh and the Eighth Assembly, he served as the Minister of
Irrigation. His tenure as Irrigation Minister saw the switching on of many irrigation projects.
from the Cabinet in 1987 protesting against insufficient allocation of funds for Irrigation.
A crusader for freedom and equality, he earned the wrath of the powers that be at the Centre in
was imprisoned during the days of emergency. Shri Deve Gowda utilised this period of forced rest
his knowledge through exhaustive reading. This, and the interaction between him and other
Indian politics who were also jailed during that period, helped him mould his personality and
He was a much more seasoned and determined person when he emerged out of his confinement.
Elected to Parliament from Hassan Lok Sabha constituency in 1991, he was instrumental in
problems of the State – especially of farmers – to the forefront. He earned respect for his
espousal of the plight of farmers, in Parliament. He also earned a name for practising and
prestige and dignity and Parliament and its institutions.
Shri Deve Gowda became the President of Janta party twice at State level and President of State
in 1994. He was the driving force behind the Janata Dal’s rise to power in the State in 1994. He
as the leader of the Janata Dal Legislative Party and on December 11, 1994 he assumed office as
Chief Minister of Karnataka. He then contested as a candidate from Ramanagar Assembly
by a thumping majority.
His prolonged experience in active politics and his strong base at the grassroots level enabled
straightway into the task of tackling many problems faced by the State. His political acumen was
again when he brought the Idgah Maidan issue at Hubli to the forefront. It was a ground that
minority community and was the butt of political controversy. Shri Gowda successfully brought
peaceful solution to the issue.
In January 1995, Shri Gowda toured Switzerland and attended the Forum of International
to European and Middle Eastern countries were a testimony to his achievements as a dedicated
tour to Singapore, which brought in the much needed foreign investment to the State, proved his
Since the 70s, friends as well as foes have been commenting on his singular pre-occupation with
its processes. His politics, says Shri Gowda, is the politics of the people and he is happy when
surrounded by people and is doing something for them.
Shri Gowda is known for giving patient hearing to all shades of opinions and is equally at home
elite when they come calling. Affectionately called the ‘son of the soil’ (dharti ke lal), he
be one of the most ardent supporters of liberalisation with a human face.
In 1989, his group of the Janata Party fared poorly in Karnataka winning just 2 of the 222
contested; Shri Gowda himself tasting defeat for the first time in his career losing in both
he contested. He is therefore, no stranger to the fickleness of political fortunes.
The defeat lent a sharper edge to his pursuit to regain lost honour and power, and spurred him
his own style of politics. He made friends in Karnataka and Delhi, and put aside his bitter
political rivals. Shri Gowda is a person with a life style that is simple, a profile that is
assertive and effective.
Before his political initiation, Shri Gowda had been a contractor taking up minor works. The
he spent as an Independent helped him observe party politics from outside. Ever a workaholic, he
seen engrossed with books and periodicals in the legislature library. His re-election in 1967
confidence and in 1969 when the Congress split, he joined the Congress (O) headed by Shri
which was in power in Karnataka then. But Shri Gowda’s big chance came after the rout of
Congress (O) in
1971 Lok Sabha elections. He emerged the leader of a truncated opposition hit by the Indira
Born to Shri Dodde Gowda and Smt. Devamma, Shri Deve Gowda is proud of his simple agricultural
Married to Smt. Chennamma, the couple have four sons and two daughters. One of the sons is an
Karnataka and another one was elected to the Lok Sabha.
The leadership of the Third Front (a group of regional parties and Non-Congress and Non-BJP
to Prime Ministership – came to Shri Gowda without him seriously aspiring for it.
Shri Deve Gowda resigned as the Chief Minister of Karnataka on May 30, 1996 to be sworn in as
Minister of India.
Haradanahalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda (born 18 May 1933) was the 14th Prime Minister of the
India (1996-1997) and the 14th chief minister of the state of Karnataka (1994-1996). Born into a
family, he won his first seat in the Karnataka state assembly in 1962, rising to become
minister. In the late 1970s Deve Gowda rose in the Janata party and was an important figure in
successor, the Janata Dal party, after the original group splintered in 1980. Deve Gowda was
attracting to the party divergent castes. When the Congress party was defeated in the 1996
and Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao resigned, Deve Gowda became prime minister of the United
coalition government after BJP failed to form a government