As India gears up for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the country is witnessing a resurgence of caste politics.
The fate of the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Karnataka rests in the hands of Supreme Court, which is hearing the petition filed by the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) against the Governor’s decision to invite the BJP to form government in the state.
Amid all the drama that in unfolding in the southern state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called JD(S) leader HD Deve Gowda to convey birthday wishes to him.
“Spoke to our former Prime Minister Shri HD Deve Gowda Ji and conveyed birthday wishes to him. I pray for his good health and long life,” PM Modi wrote on Twitter.
Spoke to our former Prime Minister Shri HD Deve Gowda Ji and conveyed birthday wishes to him. I pray for his good health and long life.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 18, 2018
Haradanahalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda was born on 18 May, 1933.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi also wished Deve Gowda on his birthday.
I would like to wish Shri HD Deve Gowda ji a very happy birthday and pray for his good health and happiness.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 18, 2018
Deve Gowda has always been an important political figure in Karnataka and his JD(S) has always played a crucial role in the state’s politics.
In the 2018 Karnataka elections too, the position of JD(S) is crucial as the combine of Congress and JD(S) cross the majority mark. The parties reached an understanding following which Gowda’s son Kumaraswamy would become the chief minister if the Governor invited the Congress-JD(S) to form the government.
BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa sworn-in as the state Chief Minister on Thursday but the party is yet to prove its majority on floor.
In the year 2006, Gowda had a fall out with his son Kumaraswamy as in a surprising move, the latter decided to join hands with BJP to form a government and become the state chief minister.
In 2004, Dharam Singh had become the chief minister of state with the support of Congress and JD(S), but in the year 2006, 42 JD(S) MLAs led by Kumaraswamy resigned following which the government fell.
Kumaraswamy then became the chief minister of state with the support of BJP.
Kumaraswamy’s decision of going with BJP was reportedly considered as a betrayal by Deve Gowda and according to reports the former PM had said he would disown his son if he repeated the “mistake” this time.
Gowda was born on 18 May 1933 in Haradanahalli, a village in Holenarasipura taluk, of the erstwhile Kingdom of Mysore (now in Hassan, Karnataka) into a Vokkaliga caste family, which is categorised as an Other Backward Class by the Indian government.