Bengaluru, Nov 7: In 2004, a TV anchor-turned-politician Tejashwini Ramesh who contested election for the first time handed out a humiliating defeat to former prime minister HD Deve Gowda. She humbled Gowda by over 1.22 lakh votes in Kanakapura Lok Sabha (now Bangalore Rural) constituency.
It wasn't possible without a giant-killer called DK Shivakumar who hails from Satanur Taluk of Kanakapura district. Shivakumar, a Vokkaliga strongman, proved that he could be an alternative to Gowda family in the state politics.
The political rivalry between DK Shivakumar and Gowda family dates back to 1989. Shivakumar emerged as a Goliath in the fight against giant David in 1989. He came to political limelight first when he defeated former PM HD Deve Gowda in his stronghold of Kanakpura in 1989. This was his first Assembly election.
His crisis management skills are not only proved handy for the party in the state but also saving Congress governments in other states. In 2002, he played a pivotal role in saving Vilas Rao Deshmukh government in Maharashtra. Deshmukh, facing a floor test, moved his MLAs to Karnataka. The task was assigned to Shivakumar, who herded the MLAs at Eagleton Resort in Bengaluru. He also escorted the MLAs back to Maharashtra Assembly. This was not the first and last time he saved his party.
A similar task was assigned to him during elections to Rajya Sabha in which Congress leader Ahmed Patel was contesting. Consequently, properties linked to the minister raided probe agencies. But, with the victory in Bellary, Shivakumar proved that he unstoppable. He is the man who could deliver what the party want.
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There were dissensions in the party while he was made in-charge of the campaign in Bellary. However, reclaiming of Bellary after a gap of 14 years silenced his critiques. The difference was the election was fought on pre-poll alliance with Janata Dal (Secular), led by Deve Gowda and his son CM HD Kumaraswamy, which has no base in the district.