Janata Dal (Secular) leader Haradanahalli Devegowda Kumaraswamy has been sworn-in as the 18th Chief Minister of Karnataka for the second time. Kumaraswamy, son of former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, was touted to be the kingmaker before the elections. However, situations led him to the post of Chief Minister, despite his party winning just 37 seats. Interestingly, Kumaraswamy had predicted that he will be the chief minister of the state when all poll surveys suggested a different outcome. He had said that people of Karnataka want to see him as King and not as kingmaker.
Kumaraswamy has been chief minister of the state once and has also worked in Kannada film industry. With Kumaraswamy sworn-in as the 18th chief minister of the state, here are some must know things about him:
Entry into politics
Kumaraswamy entered politics by winning the general elections for the first time in 1996 from Kanakapura Lok Sabha constituency. Like his father, he too enjoys support among the dominant Vokkaligga community in the state. The leader has won many elections since then.
Stint as Chief Minister
In 2004, the state of Karnataka saw a similar situation when no party got complete majority. The Congress and JD(S) came together and formed a coalition government. Dharam Singh of the Congress was elected to head the government. Kumaraswamy walked out of the government on January 28, 2006. Later, he became the chief minister with the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party. He had served as the CM between February 2006 and October 2007 under a power-sharing agreement. However, he denied leaving transferring power to BJP and resigned as CM.
Career as a movie producer
It is said that Kumaraswamy was not always interested in politics and Kannada movies were his first love. He produced several successful Kannada films before coming to politics and taking forward the legacy set by his father. Chandra Chakori, a movie produced by him in 90s became a massive hit. The film was credited with running in theatres for 365 days at a stretch.
Past differences with father
In 2006, Kumaraswamy went against his father’s decision and forged an alliance with the Bhartiya Janata Party. During the 2018 election campaign ahead of the Assembly elections in the state, HD Deve Gowda said that he will ‘disown’ his son if he repeats the same act again. After the elections, Kumaraswamy said that he will not go with the BJP and won’t hurt his father again.
CM for the 2nd time
2018 came up as a repeat of 2018 for Karnataka. No party could get a majority. However, the BJP came close to forming the government with 104 seats. The Congress stood second with 78, while Kumaraswamy’s JD(S) got 38. The results prompted the Congress, which saw itself losing the last major state in the country, extend an unconditional support to JD(S). Kumaraswamy accepted Congress’ offer and together the two parties reached a number of 116.
Both BJP and Congress-JD(S) camps staked claim to power, but the Governor favoured former as they were the single-largest party and gave a 15-day time frame to prove majority. The Congress cried foul and reached the Supreme Court against the decision. The apex court asked BJP’s CM-elect Yeddyurappa to prove majority on the third day of government formation.
Yeddyurappa resigned before going for the floor test, making it clear that Kumaraswamy will be the next chief minister of Karnataka. Kumaraswamy took oath of secrecy on Wednesday, with G Parmeshwara joining his cabinet as deputy chief minister.