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Devegowda Turns 89 Today: A Look at 10 Lesser Known Facts About the Former PM

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Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda turns 89 today. As Current PM Narendra Modi extends his greetings to the stalwart, let us look at the 10 lesser-known facts about him:

1. Deve Gowda was born in 1933 in Haradanahalli, a village in the erstwhile Kingdom of Mysore to a Vokkaliga caste family. He holds a diploma in civil engineering.

2. Deve Gowda married Chennamma in 1954. Together, they have six children — four sons, including politicians H D Revanna and former Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy, and two daughters as well.

June 1975 Emergency, when Bengaluru's jails filled up

Credits: Deccan Chronicle

3. During the emergency in 1975-1977 under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Deve Gowda was imprisoned in Bangalore Central Jail.

4. After barely 18 months as the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Gowda was selected as the 11thPrime Minister of India on June 1, 1996. He emerged as the leader of the 13-party United Front, overtly backed by Congress.

H D Deve Gowda was the 11th Prime Minister of India. He held office for less than a year. Credit: DH Photo

Credits: Deccan Herald

5. He is popularly known as “Mannina Maga” (son of the soil) and is the only Kannadiga and second south Indian after P V Narasimha Rao to have occupied the top post.

6. Gowda termed himself ‘Accidental Prime Minister’, many times in the past. He thought the leftist leader and West Bengal CM Jyoti Basu would become the PM. However, Basu himself suggested that Gowda take the top post.

7. Gowda was the Prime Minister for less than a year (324 days) until April 21, 1997. He had to leave office, as Congress withdrew support.

8. It is said that Gowda’s differences with Sitaram Kesri, who became Congress president after Narasimha Rao, cost him the post. Inder Kumar Gujral was later chosen as leader of the United Front, and he became the Prime Minister.

9. C M Ibrahim, who was the Minister of Information and Broadcasting in Gowda’s cabinet termed the former’s tenure as the “golden era of the country”. He believed that for the first time a “man from the soil” and a “humble farmer”, had risen to that level.

India - Deve Gowda Sworn In As Prime Minister - YouTube

Credits: Youtube

10. To celebrate the silver jubilee of Gowda’s oath-taking as the Prime Minister, his party, the JD(S) organized a campaign to commemorate his achievements in 2021.

References: Deccan Herald, Business standard, India TV


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