Dynasty Dominance: Karnataka is similar to Mulayam’s UP, Lalu’s Bihar
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Dynasty Dominance: Karnataka is similar to Mulayam’s UP, Lalu’s Bihar

April 9, 2019

With the entry of the third generation into electoral politics, ‘dynasty’ politics by former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda in Karnataka has come a full circle. Deve Gowda has fielded his two grandsons, Nikhil Kumaraswamy from Mandya and Prajwal Revanna for Hassan Lok Sabha seats.

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who is making all efforts to ensure the victory of his son Nikhil Kumaraswamy from Mandya, says, “The existence of regional parties lies with the dynastic politics.”

Deve Gowda, who has always remained in thick of things in Karnataka politics ever since he had successfully contested as an Independent candidate to the Assembly way back in 1960s and had associated with the Janata Parivar, however, ended up with floating his own family-centric party, the JD(S), in his over five-decade-long political career.

“I will remain in politics till my death,” he had said early last week when asked about the tough fight he will face in the hands of BJP in Tumakuru. Deve Gowda, hailing from the powerful Vokkaliga community that is strong in Old Mysuru area, had consistently won seats in Assembly and Lok Sabha elections for long. But the JD(S) might face a challenge from the BJP despite pre-poll alliance with coalition partner Congress.


The JD(S) which had secured 38 seats in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly in 2018, managed to form the Government with major partner Congress which had secured 80 seats. The BJP had fallen short marginally, securing 104 seats.

JD(S) was dominant securing 24 seats in the Vokkaliga belt. Deve Gowda’s two sons, one daughter-in-law (Anitha Kumaraswamy) besides close relatives, were among those who secured the seat. Under unprecedented churn of political confabulations, Deve Gowda’s son H.D. Kumaraswamy emerged to become the Chief Minister while his elder brother H.D. Revanna the PWD Minister. Revanna’s wife Bhavani is Hassan ZP member.


For the forthcoming 2019 elections, the JD(S) is contesting in seven LS seats, in alliance with the Congress and three of them are from his family. While Deve Gowda is contesting from Tumakuru Lok Sabha seat, his grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy is fielded from key Mandya segment. In Hassan, where Deve Gowda won five elections, the party’s chief has fielded another grandson Prajwal Revanna, son of H.D. Revanna, and he (Deve Gowda) opted for Tumakuru.

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Political analysts said that this move by the JD(S) chief may backfire as the young party candidates in Mandya and Hassan may face a tough task as well as Deve Gowda face a stiff challenge from BJP candidate G.S. Basavaraju in Tumakuru.


Strongly defending his decision to allow his family members to contest the Lok Sabha elections, the former Prime Minister had said that “they are not entering the politics through back door but with strong backing of the party.”

Stating that his grandsons are in the fray due to ‘popular demand’ of the party workers, the sitting members of the Lok Sabha Constituencies in Mandya and Hassan, Deve Gowda denied that he had favoured his kin over other party leaders. “These young leaders from the JD(S) family will emerge as strong leaders.”

Deve Gowda, unperturbed for grooming his family members at the cost of others says, “During my political career spanning over five decades, I had introduced hundreds of leaders to politics, who were not related to me.”

Strongly defending Deve Gowda’s decision to introduce his kin into politics, Suresh, a young entrepreneur from Kanakapura, said, “After suffering betrayal from those leaders, who were mentored by him, Deve Gowda might have decided to look towards his family members to rely upon.”

“There are several leaders, including C.M. Ibrahim, P.G.R. Sindhia, B.T. Lalitha Nayak, Siddharamaiah, Dr. H.C. Mahadevappa, Bandeppa Kashampur, who have made their presence felt in the State politics, who were not relatives of Deve Gowda,” Suresh added.


C.B. Patil, a political analyst, however, slammed Deve Gowda for fielding his two politically novice grandsons to contest the LS polls and said he started practicing another form of dynastic politics called ‘Concurrent Dynasty’ wherein several family members of his family are in politics at the same time. “We are witnessing in Karnataka what Mulayam Singh Yadav did in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Lalu Prasad had done in Bihar. But how far this will be a success, this Lok Sabha election results will reveal on May 23,” he said.

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“The tendency to bring sons and daughters into politics, starts when one wants to retain the privilege and political power he enjoys and does not want it to slip out from one’s clutches,” Chandrashekar, a political observer in Kalaburagi, opined.


The tendency of thrusting upon the State or the country their family members is not limited to any one individual political leader or to a political party. Recalling that former CM Veerendra Patil, after vacating his LS seat, fielded his son-in-law Jawali from Kalaburagi, Chandrashekar, a political observer said, “Veerendra Patil’s son was also made the party candidate from Chincholi Assembly seat, once held by Patil.”

Meanwhile, several candidates, who are the family members of the Karnataka Assembly members, are also in the fray to contest. While BJP leader C.M. Udasi had managed to get the BJP ticket to his son Shivakumar Udasi in Haveri Lok Sabha seat, another BJP MLA, Shashikala Jolle’s husband is the saffron party’s candidate for Chikkodi Lok Sabha seat.

State BJP President B.S. Yeddyurappa’s son and sitting MP B.Y. Raghavendra is seeking re-election from Shivamogga. The Congress had fielded Madhu Bangarappa, son of former CM (late) S. Bangarappa from Shivamogga. Madhu Bangarappa’s brother Kumar Bangarappa is BJP MLA from Soraba.

Congress strongman Mallikarjun Kharge, who is seeking re-election from Kalaburagi LS seat, is the father of Priyank Kharge, who is the Social Welfare Minister in the JD(S)-Congress coalition Government.

Congress candidate for Kolar Lok Sabha seat K.H. Muniyappa, who is seeking re-election to the Parliament for the successive eighth term, brought his daughter Roopa Shashidhar to State politics and made her an MLA in 2018 Assembly elections.

6 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Dynasty Dominance: Karnataka is similar to Mulayam’s UP, Lalu’s Bihar”

  1. 3 Generations Of Deve Gowda Family Are Poll Candidates; Some Tears And Complaints have been analysed by journalist Maya Sharma as below.

    While pushing the family cause seems to have irked many in the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular), the BJP hopes to benefit from the situation.
    HD Deve Gowda was moved to tears while announcing his grandson’s candidature from Hassan.

    Family matters can get emotional. Janata Dal (Secular) chief HD Deve Gowda could barely keep his tears in check while handing over his seat – Hassan in southern Karnataka – to grandson Prajwal Revanna at a public event in the parliamentary constituency on Wednesday.

    “With your blessings and the blessings of God Channakeshava, I have chosen Prajwal Revanna to contest from Hassan (in the Lok Sabha elections),” he announced, moving three generations of his family to tears. Prajwal is the son of Karnataka Minister HD Revanna.

    Another grandson of Mr Gowda – Nikhil – will also contest the upcoming elections. The actor son of Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, he has been given the Mandya ticket. Both Deve Gowda and HD Kumaraswamy travelled to the parliamentary constituency on Thursday to campaign for his entry into politics.

    With the former Prime Minister also contesting the elections, three of the eight seats the party managed to wrest from coalition partner Congress will go to the Gowda family. Add HD Kumaraswamy, his legislator wife Anitha and Minister HD Revanna to this list, and the family can be viewed as well-represented in Karnataka’s electoral politics.

    But will these family ties backfire? Nikhil will be up against Sumalatha, the wife of late superstar Ambareesh, in Mandya. And the decision to give him the ticket has reportedly spurred resentment in the Congress – which did not want to part with the seat – as well as the Janata Dal (Secular).

    The BJP, which is taking on the coalition in the May elections, hopes the party has made a mistake in pushing for members of the Gowda family. “I think only Kumaraswamy and his family are proposing Nikhil Kumaraswamy’s name. I think he is all alone now, because there is no support for him within or outside. Nikhil Kumaraswamy will lose the election.

  2. Karuna M S says:

    Why they singularly point oy Deve Gowda and his family…. Have they forgotten Yeduyurappa and his son, Sidaramaih and his son, Nehru and his daughter, grandchildren, Rajnath Singh and his son, Karunanidi and his family, Bal thackeray and his sons and grandchildren, Sharad Pawar and his daughter …. Is it sin to have regional parties…. Infact regional parties give power to their state… Instead so called national parties they have dance to the high command… Why hate particularly Deve Gowda ji and vokkaligas… When cauvery water dispute comes Karnataka always look Deve Gowda ji to save us….. How much hate you spew.. No one can underestimate HDD and HDK… they relentless fight for the cause of farmers

    • When cauvery issue raises, Deve Gowda will do bed yoga. What is he done for farmers? Ask yourself if those kids got the necessary experience to take the responsibility at that age? Of course they will pick -up the skills to loot the state and fool poor farmers in no time. Such a same that we still leave in that dark ages… only because of people like Karuna Kuruba.

    • Yeddi says:

      Well said. Thank less people.

    • Ram says:

      dude really three generations and farmers are still in agony they just want you to divide based on cast and religion and rule you for ever

  3. Simple Man says:

    How dare you people criticize dear Deve Gowda and his family? They have worked day and night to fight for the welfare of farmers, Kaveri, and poor people of Karnataka. The grateful people bestowed HDK with the tittle “Deena Bandu”. Did HDK, at the advice of his father, not break his power sharing agreement with BJP for the sake of farmers, and poor people? We all know that Deve Gowda family abhors communal politics. They have steadfastly supported caste politics for the sake of farmers and poor people of Karnataka!

    How can you, ungrateful people, accuse the noble Deve Gowda family of all kinds of crimes and misdemeanors? What if they have amassed wealth in the process of helping farmers and poor people of Karnataka?

    You ungrateful people should thank your lucky stars that Deve Gowda family is dedicated to serving the people of Karnataka.

    Jai HD, HDK, HDD and Karnataka!


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