Bharatiya Janata Party was perhaps in for its biggest drubbing in recent elections on Saturday when BS Yeddyurappa, party’s CM-elect for Karnataka, resigned before proving majority on the floor of the House. Many were surprised as to how – Amit Shah and Yeddyurappa – were not able to garner the support of eight MLAs. Many people credited one man – DK Shivakumar, Congress MLA from Kanakpura – as the man of the moment.
Shivakumar, known as DKS, was the man who kept the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) flock intact. Not only did he keep the MLAs safe, he was also seen entering the Karnataka Assembly with the one of the ‘missing’ MLAs. Undoubtedly, ‘hosting’ more than 100 MLAs was not an easy task for Shivakumar. However, this was not the first time he saved the MLAs for Congress.
The 57-year-old leader had done the same for the first time in 2002, when he played a pivotal role in saving Vilas Rao Deshmukh government in Maharashtra. Deshmukh, facing a floor test, moved his MLAs to neighbouring Karnataka, ruled by SM Krishna. Krishna assigned the task to Shivakumar, who herded the MLAs at Eagleton Resort in Bengaluru. He also escorted the MLAs back to Maharashtra Assembly. Later, a similar incident happened in 2006. At that time, JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy, in whose Ramanagara district the resort falls, had stashed some of his party’s MLAs at the resort. Again, the coalition government of Congress and JD(S) came to power.
In 2017, when a battle of ego broke out between the senior ranks of Congress and the BJP over the Rajya Sabha seat of Ahmed Patel, Shivakumar was again entrusted with the similar responsibility. However, it came with a price. 90 locations linked to him were raided by different central agencies.
However, ‘hoarding’ of MLAs is not the only work Shivakumar do.
The leader is active in Karnataka politics for the past 30 years and had hit headlines first when he defeated former PM HD Deve Gowda in his stronghold of Kanakpura in 1989. This was his first Assembly election, which started on a dream note. Shivakumar, also a Vokkaligga, has been contesting and defeating the JD (S) in their stronghold.
He was soon appointed as a minister in the S Bangarappa government. In 1999, he was appointed as a minister by SM Krishna in his government. He once again fought against Deve Gowda from Kanakapura Lok Sabha seat but lost. In 2004, he fielded Tejaswini against Deve Gowda and successfully defeated the latter.
He also held the post of KPCC working president during Yeddyurappa’s government. During the current elections, he was made the campaign committee chief for the Congress party.
Though Karnataka Congress chief G Parmeshwara is the top contender for the deputy CM post, it would be no surprise if the party awards the same to Shivakumar for his efforts.