Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda’s ambition to become the Prime Minister of India proved to be a boon for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in establishing its foothold in South India. This article discusses how Gowda’s accidental prime ministership robbed him of an opportunity to serve longer as the Chief Minister of Karnataka, and how his ascent to PM’s chair aided the BJP’s ascent to power in the state.
HD Deve Gowda’s Ticket to Power
The article highlights how Gowda’s emergence as the Chief Minister of Karnataka was aided by political realignments that preceded it. The Congress party’s factionalism, along with the Karnataka Congress Party and the nascent BJP, weakened Congress’s position in 1994. The Janata Dal, led by Ramakrishna Hegde, and Gowda’s Samajwadi Janata Party (SJD) joined hands a year before the election to ensure that the merged entity stood a chance in 1994. The merger resuscitated Gowda’s career that was on the wane.
Gowda’s Contribution to BJP’s Ascent to Power
The article credits Gowda for aiding BJP’s ascent to power in the state. First, Gowda’s political brinkmanship helped the BJP. Second, Gowda was instrumental in consolidating power and ensuring succession within the party.
The Accidental Prime Minister
Gowda’s ambition to become the Prime Minister of India was the cherry on top for his swift political turnaround. He unexpectedly threw down the gauntlet for the PM’s chair with the backing of then Janata Dal president and Bihar CM Lalu Prasad Yadav. As soon as he won the trust vote in the Lok Sabha, Gowda saw to it that Hegde was summarily expelled from the party.
In conclusion, the article sheds light on how Gowda’s prime ministerial ambitions proved to be a blessing in disguise for BJP’s rise to power in Karnataka.
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