Haradanahalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda is an Indian politician who was the 11th Prime Minister of India from 1 June 1996 to 21 April 1997.
He was previously the 14th Chief Minister of Karnataka from 1994 to 1996.
Gowda was born on 18 May 1933 in Haradanahalli, a village in Holenarasipura taluk, of the erstwhile Kingdom of Mysore (now in Hassan, Karnataka) into a Vokkaliga caste family, which is categorised as an Other Backward Class by the Indian government.
His father Dodde Gowda was a paddy farmer and mother, Devamma.
Gowda earned a diploma in civil engineering from L. V. Polytechnic, Hassan, in the late 1950s
Gowda joined the Indian National Congress party in 1953 and remained a member until 1962. During that period, he was President of Anjaneya Cooperative Society of Holenarasipura and later became a member of the Taluk Development Board of Holenarasipura.
In 1962, Gowda was elected to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly from Holenarasipura constituency as an independent candidate. Later, he was elected from the same constituency to the Assembly for six consecutive terms from 1962 to 1989.
He joined the Congress (O) during the Congress split and served as the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly from March 1972 to March 1976 and again from November 1976 to December 1977.
During the Emergency (1975–77), he was imprisoned in the Bangalore Central Jail.
Gowda was the two time President of state unit of the Janata Party. He served as a minister in the Janata Party Government in Karnataka headed by Ramakrishna Hegde from 1983 to 1988. He became President of the state unit of Janata Dal in 1994 and was the driving force behind the victory of the party in the 1994 State Assembly elections.
He was elected from the Ramanagara sworn in as the 14th Chief Minister of Karnataka in December.
In January 1995, Gowda toured Switzerland and attended the Forum of International Economists. His tour to Singapore brought in foreign investment to the State
He served as the 14th Chief Minister of Karnataka from 1994 to 1996.
In the 1996 general elections, the Congress party headed by P. V. Narasimha Rao lost decisively but no other party won enough seats to form a government. When the United Front (a conglomeration of non-Congress and non-BJP regional parties) decided to form the Government at the Centre with the support of the Congress, Deve Gowda was unexpectedly chosen to head the government and became the 11th Prime Minister of India.
He took over as Prime Minister of India on 1 June 1996 and continued until 21 April 1997. Also, he was the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the United Front, the policy making apex body of all the constituents of the ruling front
During his tenure, he also served as Minister of Home Affairs. His tenure as prime minister lasted for less than a year.
After his prime ministerial tenure, he continued his political career, joining the 14th, 15th, and 16th Lok Sabha, as Member of Parliament for the Hassan constituency of Karnataka.
In 1999, when some senior leaders of the party decided to join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA, the party split into factions. Many leaders, including Madhu Dandawate and Siddaramaiah, joined the Janata Dal (Secular) faction headed by Deve Gowda, who became the National president of this faction.
He was defeated in the 1999 general elections but staged a comeback by winning the Kanakapura By-elections in 2002.
Deve Gowda expelled Siddaramaiah and CM Ibrahim JDS party, because Siddaramaiah led AHINDA movement; representing minority, backward, and Dalit people in Karnataka.
Deve Gowda abused B. S. Yeddyurappa, who was then chief minister of Karnataka. This event was termed as “new low in Indian politics”. Gowda later apologised for hurling abuse at the chief minister of Karnataka
JDS party led by Deve Gowda did not make impact in Karnataka politics from 2008 till 2018 general elections.
He married Chennamma in 1954. They have six children together: four sons, including politicians H. D. Revanna and H. D. Kumaraswamy, who is the former Chief Minister of Karnataka, and two daughters
His son H. D. Kumaraswamy headed the BJP-JD(S) coalition government in the state for 20 months