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Kumaraswamy wants to be king, not kingmaker

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Bengaluru: Keeping with his pre-poll claims that he would be the 'king' and not 'kingmaker', state chief of Janata Dal (Secular) H D Kumaraswamy has virtually emerged from the fringe to stake claim to become the chief minister of Karnataka again with Congress support.

Like his father and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, Kumaraswamy, who was the chief of the state for 20 months from February 2006, has mastered the art of making the best use of opportunity in one's favour. Despite his party ending up at a distant third in the assembly elections with 37 seats, Kumaraswamy, popularly known as "Kumaranna", is back in the reckoning after the Congress announced support to him to lead a coalition government.

Seen as a "lone ranger" and an "accidental politician", his first love was, however, films. Born in Haradanahalli of Holenarasipura Taluk in Hassan district, Kumaraswamy did his early schooling in Hassan, before shifting to Bengaluru for higher studies. A BSc graduate, for 58-year old Kumaraswamy politics was never his first interest. A fan of Kannada thespian Dr Rajkumar, he was attracted to cinema from his college days and that later drove him to the business of film-making and  distribution.

He has produced several successful Kannada films, including the recent "Jaguar", starring his son Nikhil Gowda. Kumaraswamy, who grew up in a political environment all along, entered electoral politics by contesting for the Lok Sabha from Kanakapura in 1996 and won, but subsequently lost when he contested for Parliament and then to the assembly.

He got elected to the assembly in 2004, when JD (S) following the hung verdict supported the Congress' Dharm Singh-led government.

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