Narendra Modi Cabinet 2.0

Sadananda Gowda: Constant decline in political career of a veteran

D.V.Sadananda Gowda. File   | Photo Credit: MANJUNATH HS

The dropping of senior Minister D. V. Sadananda Gowda from the Union Ministry on Wednesday marks the constant decline in the political career of a veteran who was once the Chief Minister of Karnataka.

A much younger Shobha Karandlaje, who both hails from his region and belongs to his community, has now been chosen to replace him. This is perhaps to send a message to the dominant Vokkaliga community that it has not been ignored. The party has also accommodated three others from Karnataka — business tycoon-turned politician Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Dalit leader A. Narayanaswamy and Bhagwanth Khuba, who belongs to the Lingayat community.

The soft-spoken Gowda, 68, came into the limelight in 2008 when the BJP formed it’s first-ever government in a southern State when he was the party’s State president. Later, in an unexpected development, he had to even takeover the reins as Chief Minister from Mr. Yediyurappa, who had to step down following charges of illegal mining.

Mr. Gowda, who had always maintained a low profile, managed to change the image of the government that had been battered by serious allegations of illegal mining and corruption charges. However, he had to step down before completing the term as the party high command thought it was better to have a person from the Lingayat community as Chief Minister to prevent the community’s dominant leader and the then rebel Mr. Yediyurappa from eroding its main support base.

PM Modi's Cabinet reshuffle updates

He was given the prominent portfolio of Railways in 2014. But soon whispers of him not being able to handle the portfolio well started being heard, leading to him being given the responsibility of Law Ministry. But he was never comfortable in handling the new role, which resulted in him being given the low-profile Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. Mr. Gowda, who was given the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers in 2019, could not make significant contribution leading to him losing the ministerial berth.

Earlier, the party’s efforts to project Mr. Gowda as its face of the dominant Vokkaliga community had not yielded the desired results despite his good image. In fact, his political opponents had accused him of being inactive in his Bengaluru North constituency during the Lok Sabha polls.

To ensure that Mr. Gowda’s ouster from the Cabinet does not upset the community, the BJP has been trying to project the organisational elevation of another Vokkaliga community leader C. T. Ravi as political accommodation for the community.

The first signs of him struggling to retain the ministerial berth were evident when he got an injunction from a local court a few days ahead of the reshuffle to restrain the media from publishing any “false and baseless” news against him.


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 6:06:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sadananda-gowda-constant-decline-in-political-career-of-a-veteran/article35200921.ece

Next Story