BENGALURU: H D Kumaraswamy, who grew up with a strong inclination towards the tinsel world, has emerged as the star of Karnataka politics. The four-time MLA has been sworn-in as the Chief Minister for the second time after lady luck smiled at him.
The man, who was predicted to play a kingmaker, has been crowned the king again though his party JD(S) finished last in the triangular contest.
Born on December 16, 1959, at Haradanahalli village in Hassan district, Kumaraswamy is the third among the four sons — H D Balakrishna, H D Revanna and HD Ramesh are the other three. He has two sisters H D Anasuya and H D Shylaja. Though born as the son of a man who breathes, eats and sleeps politics, Kumaraswamy was not keen to follow in his father's footsteps as cinema was his first love.
Dreaming to make it big in the film industry, Kumaraswamy turned a producer and distributor and made it big with hits such as Surya Vamsha starring Vishnuvardhan and Chandra Chakori, in which Murali had played the lead. He also launched his son Nikhil in Sandalwood through Jaguar, a bilingual made in Kannada and Telugu.
Kumaraswamy's career took a new turn just when Deve Gowda became the Chief Minister in 1995. Kumaraswamy took a plunge into politics within the next few months by winning the Lok Sabha election from Kanakapura in 1996. His rise in the party was quick just as his father was catapulted to the Prime Minister's post.
The rise has been steady since then. He entered the Assembly for the first time in 2004 from Ramanagaram and has won four times from there, including in the recently held polls.
Known as an ambitious man in a hurry to get what he wants, Kumaraswamy’s decision in 2006 to strike a deal with BJP to get crowned as the Chief Minister stunned the entire country. The decision raised a storm within the family too with his father Deve Gowda terming it as the "worst moment of his political career and a blot on his proud secular credentials in public life," and he had disowned Kumaraswamy.
Now striking a pact with the Congress, Kumaraswamy has justified this alliance by terming it as his "repentance to wash his earlier sin of joining hands with BJP". He said, "I have atoned for my sins by striking a pact with secular Congress to keep communal BJP out of power."
The coalition has made Kumaraswamy a star at national level too as it has provided the impetus for many regional parties to move closer to Congress as part of their plans to form a broader coalition to take on BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.