Haradanahalli Devegowda Kumaraswamy is the son of former Prime Minister and JD(S) founder HD Deve Gowda.
Popularly known as Kumaranna, the 58-year-old HD Kumaraswamy entered politics in 1996 when he won the Kanakapura Lok Sabha Seat in the 11th General Elections.
He is contesting from the Ramanagara constituency in the Karnataka Assembly election this year, where he had won with a margin of over 25,000 votes in the last assembly poll. He has won last three assembly elections from Ramanagara. Kumaraswamy is also contesting from Channapatna constituency.
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Leading up to the Karnataka polls, the father-son duo was caught in a spot of bother on quite a few occasions. It all started with Siddaramaiah’s accusations that the JD(S) was joining hands with the BJP after various news channels reported that Kumaraswamy travelled in the same flight as Amit Shah. Deve Gowda, who had vehemently opposed the possibility of an alliance with the BJP, blaming it for indulging in communal politics, was infuriated by such allegations. The octogenarian said that he would disown his son and make his family boycott him if he attempted to join hands with the BJP.
This move had brought back sour memories to Deve Gowda about the time when Kumaraswamy had become the chief minister of Karnataka in 2006 with the BJP’s support. Kumaraswamy had then led the campaign to pull out of a coalition with the Dharam Singh-led Congress government in Karnataka. He had rebelled against his father and marshalled a number of JD(S) legislators to form the government with the BJP. The BJP had observed fissures growing in the Congress-JD(S) coalition had made overtures to the JD(S), which were eventually heeded to by Kumaraswamy.
Kumaraswamy took oath as the 18th chief minister of Karnataka in February 2006, with Yeddyurappa as the Deputy Chief Minister. He served as chief minister until the October of 2007.
Kumaraswamy’s decision to join with the “communal party” had serious impact on Deve Gowda’s “secular” image and his health.
With the trends showing the BJP being the single largest party, the Congress falling second and the JD(S) getting about 40 seats, Kumaraswamy’s decision will be crucial. In an interview to The Economic Times, Kumaraswamy had declared that the JD(S) will go for fresh elections in the case of a hung assembly.