CM to Two-Time Union Minister: Why Sadananda Gowda is the 'Luckiest' Politician from Karnataka
Sadananda Gowda, a former CM, four-time MP and two-time MLA, is a staunch RSS man and considered the “luckiest” politician in Karnataka, thanks to the coveted positions he has come to occupy without much effort.
File photo of Sadananda Gowda.
Bengaluru: DV Sadananda Gowda perhaps knew he would get a call to be part of Narendra Modi’s cabinet this time as well.
Gowda’s entire family had landed in New Delhi a day before the swearing-in ceremony and performed a special pooja at their Lutyens’ Delhi home. The prayers worked with Gowda getting the call.
Gowda, a former CM, four-time MP and two-time MLA, is a staunch RSS man and considered the “luckiest” politician in Karnataka, thanks to the coveted positions he has come to occupy without much effort.
As an MP in 2011, Gowda was expecting the post of Karnataka Milk Federation chairman. But, the then CM, BS Yeddyurappa, could not get him that post since one of the Bellary Reddy brothers was holding that position. In a twist of fate, a few months later, Gowda became the Karnataka Chief Minister.
In 2014, he joined the Narendra Modi government as a cabinet minister, handling Railways, Law & Justice, Planning and Statistics & Programme Implementation. After Ananthkumar’s death, he was given the additional responsibility of Chemicals & Fertilisers.
Always smiling and mostly non-controversial, Gowda has to lead Karnataka in the national capital. With Ananthkumar’s untimely death, shock defeat of JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda and Congress leader M Mallikarjuna Kharge, Gowda happens to be the senior-most Karnataka leader in New Delhi.
Gowda belongs to the Vokkaliga caste whose population is about 12% in the state. The BJP has literally swept the Vokkaliga heartlands in this election.
The Mumbai–Karnataka region, backbone of the BJP in the state, has got two berths. Both four-time MPs, Suresh Angadi from Belgaum and Prahlad Joshi from Dharwad have made it to the Modi cabinet. While low-profile Angadi is a Lingayat, Joshi is a Brahmin.
Angadi, a loyalist of Yeddyurappa, has been given a ministerial berth under the Lingayat quota who are the biggest supporters of the BJP. Joshi was a close confidante of Ananthkumar and a hard-core RSS worker like Gowda. His induction is being seen as a replacement for his deceased guru.
In the previous government, Ramesh Jigajinagi, a Dalit, was a Minister of State. Even though he won the election, he has been dropped from the ministry this time.
Another notable name missing from the list is that of Ananthkumar Hegde. Hegde, a controversial minister, was handling Skill Development in the previous government. A six-time MP from Uttara Kannada, Hegde won this election by over 4.5 lakh votes. State BJP leaders feel that his remarks hailing Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse did him in.
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman is also a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka, though she is a Tamilian. She has also been re-inducted into the cabinet.
From neighbouring Telangana, BJP leader G Kishan Reddy has made it to the Cabinet, despite losing assembly elections just six months ago. Surprisingly, the BJP has four seats from Telangana. Even Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s daughter K Kavitha lost to a BJP novice from Nizamabad this time.
For the first time, Andhra Pradesh will have no representation in the Union Cabinet as the BJP has been decimated in the polls there. YSR Congress with 22 MPs and TDP with three MPs are not a part of the NDA.
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