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A Whiff of Karnataka and a Dash of Gowdas in Maharashtra's Political Coup as Ajit Pawar Joins Hands with BJP

File photo of HD Kumaraswamy with BS Yediyurappa

File photo of HD Kumaraswamy with BS Yediyurappa

Thirteen years ago, former PM HD Deve Gowda went into a silent mode communicating only through his trusted aides, claiming that his son HDK had betrayed him by splitting the party and going with the 'communal' BJP.

D P Satish

Bengaluru: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has claimed his nephew Ajit Pawar has rebelled to join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form government in Maharashtra. The overnight coup in Maharashtra is reminiscent of something similar in neighbouring Karnataka 13 years ago.

The Congress-JDS government in the state, led by N Dharam Singh, collapsed overnight and a "breakaway" faction of the JDS led by party founder HD Deve Gowda's son HD Kumaraswamy formed a government with the BJP, its core ideological enemy.

That development had shocked the nation. Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, went into a silent mode communicating only through his trusted aides claiming that his son HDK has betrayed him by splitting the party and going with the "communal" BJP.

A few days later he even dismissed his chief minister-son and the "rebel" MLAs from JDS. For months a "hurt" Gowda, did not appear in public or entertained the media. According to his aides, he "wept" in silence for months.

Unperturbed by these, the HDK-BS Yediyurappa government took off, writing a new chapter in India's ever changing and shifting political landscape. The Congress, which had lost the government in a coup, initially believed Gowda's version and had even expressed sympathy.

CM son HDK also wept in public for being "unfaithful" to his father. A few months later, the mask came off. Both the politicians and the people realised that they were being taken for a royal ride by father and son.

The son's "revolt" was actually father's brainchild. To make his son CM at any cost, former PM Gowda had made an elaborate plan to make it look like a "betrayal" by his own son.

During HDK's 20-month rule, Gowda was controlling many things from behind the scenes. When HDK was supposed to hand over the baton of CM to Yediyurappa, Gowda once again shocked everyone by asking him to betray the BJP.

Karnataka government once again collapsed paving the way for the President's rule. In the next Assembly election, riding on sympathy wave, Yediyurappa rode to power.


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