Mangaluru, May 31, 2019: DV Sadananda Gowda perhaps knew he would get a call to be part of Narendra Modi’s cabinet this time as well. Gowda’s entire family had landed in New Delhi a day before the swearing-in ceremony and performed a special pooja at their Lutyens’ Delhi home. The prayers worked with Gowda getting the call.
Gowda, a former CM, four-time MP and two-time MLA, is a staunch RSS man and considered the “luckiest” politician in Karnataka, thanks to the coveted positions he has come to occupy without much effort.
Sadananda Gowda was born in 1953 to Venkappa Gowda and Kamala of Mandekolu Village in Sullia taluk of Dakshina Kannada District. The 66-year-old lawyer started his political journey from Jan Sangh in the 80’s. He became a member of BJP after the split of Janata Party. Gowda was elected to the Karnataka legislative assembly in 1994 and 1999 from Dakshin Kannada. He was first elected to the 14th Lok Sabha in 2004, when he defeated Congress veteran Veerappa Moily. Gowda was also the Karnataka state BJP president between 2006 and 2010.
As an MP in 2011, Gowda was expecting the post of Karnataka Milk Federation chairman. But, the then CM, BS Yeddyurappa, could not get him that post since one of the Bellary Reddy brothers was holding that position. In a twist of fate, a few months later, Gowda became the Karnataka Chief Minister.
In 2014, he joined the Narendra Modi government as a cabinet minister, handling Railways, Law & Justice, Planning and Statistics & Programme Implementation. After Ananthkumar’s death, he was given the additional responsibility of Chemicals & Fertilisers.
Always smiling and mostly non-controversial, Gowda has to lead Karnataka in the national capital. With Ananthkumar’s untimely death, shock defeat of JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda and Congress leader M Mallikarjuna Kharge, Gowda happens to be the senior-most Karnataka leader in New Delhi.
Gowda belongs to the Vokkaliga caste whose population is about 12% in the state. The BJP has literally swept the Vokkaliga heartlands in this election.