Haradanahalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda (born 18 May 1933) is an Indian politician who was the Prime Minister of India from June 1996 to April 1997. Previously he was the 14th Chief Minister of Karnataka from 1994 to 1996.
He is a member of the 16th Lok Sabha representing the Hassan constituency of Karnataka, is the National President of the Janata Dal (Secular) party, and enjoys strong support in the Vokkaliga community which is at the forefront of the state politics.
Early life and education
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 middle-class family of Vokkaligas. His father was Dodde Gowda was a paddy farmer and mother, Devamma.
He earned a diploma in civil engineering from L. V. Polytechnic, Hassan, in the late 1950s. In his youth, Gowda helped his father with farming. He worked as a contractor for a while before entering politics in 1953. He married Chennamma in 1954. They have six children together: four sons including politician H. D. Revanna and H. D. Kumaraswamy and two daughters.
Joining of Congress
Gowda joined the Indian National Congress party in 1953 and remained a member until 1962. During that period, he was President of Anjaneya Cooperative Society of Holenarasipura and later became a member of the Taluk Development Board of Holenarasipura.
In 1962, Gowda was elected to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly from Holenarasipura constituency as an independent candidate. Later, he was elected from the same constituency to the Assembly for six consecutive terms from 1962 to 1989. He joined the Congress(O) during the Congress split and served as the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly from March 1972 to March 1976 and again from November 1976 to December 1977. During the Emergency (197577), he was imprisoned in the Bangalore Central Jail.
In Janata Party
Gowda was twice the President of state unit of the Janata Party. He served as a minister in the Janata Party Government in Karnataka headed by Ramakrishna Hegde from 1983 to 1988. He became President of the state unit of Janata Dal in 1994 and was the driving force behind the victory of the party in the 1994 State Assembly elections. He was elected from the Ramanagara sworn in as the 14th Chief Minister of Karnataka in December.
In January 1995, Gowda toured Switzerland and attended the Forum of International Economists. His tour to Singapore, which brought in much needed foreign investment to the State, proved his business acumen.
As a Prime Minister
In the 1996 general elections, the Congress party headed by P. V. Narasimha Rao lost decisively but no other party won enough seats to form a government. When the United Front (a conglomeration of non-Congress and non-BJP regional parties) decided to form the Government at the Centre with the support of the Congress, Deve Gowda was unexpectedly chosen to head the government and became the 11th Prime Minister of India. He took over as Prime Minister of India on 1 June 1996 and continued until 11 April 1997. Also, he was the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the United Front, the policy making apex body of all the constituents of the ruling front.
Janata Dal (Secular)
The Janata Dal was formed on the merger of the Janata Party with smaller opposition parties in 1988. Vishwanath Pratap Singh became the first Prime Minister of India from Janata Dal when he headed the National Front government in 1989. Later Deve Gowda and Inder Kumar Gujral too became prime ministers heading the United Front (UF) coalition governments in 1996 and 1997 respectively.
In 1999, when some senior leaders of the party decided to join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA, the party split into many factions. Many leaders including the Late Madhu Dandawate joined the Janata Dal (Secular) faction headed by Deve Gowda, who became the National president of this faction.
He was defeated in the 1999 general elections but staged a comeback by winning the Kanakapura By-elections in 2002.
The 2004 elections in Karnataka witnessed the revival of his partys fortunes with the Janata Dal (Secular) winning 58 seats and becoming a part of the ruling coalition in the state. Later, the party joined hands with the BJP and formed an alternate government in 2006. His son H. D. Kumaraswamy headed the BJP-JD(S) coalition government in the state for 20 months. In the 2008 state elections, the party performed poorly and won just 28 seats but has remained a significant force in the South Karnataka.
1962-89 : Member, Karnataka Legislative Assembly (seven terms)
197276 : Leader of Opposition, Karnataka Legislative Assembly
198388 : Minister for Public Works and Irrigation, Government of Karnataka
1991 : Elected to 10th Lok Sabha
199194 : Member, Committee on Commerce Member, Joint Parliamentary Committee on Fertilizers Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Agriculture
1994 : President, Janata Dal, Karnataka.
199496 : Chief Minister of Karnataka
Jun. 1996 Apr. 1997 : Prime Minister of India and also in charge of Ministries/Departments of Petroleum and Chemicals, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Atomic Energy, Home Affairs, Agriculture, Food Processing Industries, Urban Affairs and Employment and Non-Conventional Energy Sources
199698 : Member, Rajya Sabha
Nov. 1996-Apr. 1997 : Leader of the House, Rajya Sabha
2002 : Re-elected to 13th Lok Sabha in a by-election (3rd term)
2004 : Re-elected to 14th Lok Sabha (4th term)
20062008 : Member, Committee on Railways
2009 : Re-elected to 15th Lok Sabha (5th term)
31 Aug 2009 : Member, Committee on Defence
2014 : Re-elected to 16th Lok Sabha (6th term)
1 Sep 2014 – : Member, Standing Committee on Defence