Today, former prime minister HD Deve Gowda turned 86-year-old. The irony is that the octogenarian leader is celebrating his birthday at a time when there is political chaos in Karnataka. The JDS MLAs, who were supposed to wish the party supremo on his birthday, are holed up in Park Hyatt Hotel in Hyderabad.
Amid this political commotion, there is one interesting fact we should know about HD Deve Gowda.
Haradanahalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda is the only politician to directly become the Prime Minister from being a Chief Minister before Narendra Modi. Apparently, this is the only similarity between the two leaders. Narendra Modi rose from state politics to become the prime minister in 2014. Before that, Modi had served as CM of Gujarat for three terms.
Others like Morarjeebhai Desai and PV Narasimha Rao were also chief ministers before they became prime minister, but both of them were in Central Politics for a long time in the intervening period.
Janta Party leader Deve Gowda became chief minister in 1994 and within two years he was prime minister. In 1996 General elections, Congress, with 140 seats, extended outside support to the United Front (Supported by left parties) led by many leaders. Congress did agree to keep BJP out of power which had 192 seats.
Lalu Prasad Yadav was in the race back then but Sharad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan vetoed his name. Mulayam Singh Yadav was also seen back then to be in contention, but his name was rejected by Harkishan Surjeet of the Left. They all arrived at a consensus on H D Deve Gowda's name who was then the CM of Karnataka and Janta Party leader. So, HD Deve Gowda was the only person for whom all the leaders of the United front agreed.