Devargunda Venkappa Sadananda Gowda, 58, who was sworn in as the 20th chief minister of Karnataka, is an affable but seasoned politician. He faces the daunting challenge of lifting the image of the BJP government battered by scandals.
Popularly known as DVS in the party, Gowda is a lawyer by profession and has been associated with BJP from his very early days, beginning with the Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. He has held various party posts and involved in several movements, before being elected twice as MLA and MP. However, he has no administrative experience.
Hailing from Sullia Taluk of Dakshina Kannada, Gowda represents Uddupi-Chickmagalur in the current Lok Sabha. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1994 and 1999 from Puttur. He was also elected to the 14th Lok Sabha in 2004, from Mangalore.
The new chief minister’s deft crisis management and administrative skills will be tested as he tries to soothe the ruffled feathers of those opposed to Yeddyurappa, even as he has to improve his party’s and government’s image. This would be an onerous task as Gowda owes his victory in the CM race to the support extended by Yeddyurappa.
However, his easy going nature and rapport with various members of the party is expected to hold him in good stead. As the president of the state BJP from 2006 to 2010, Gowda’s biggest achievement was to check the friction between the Yeddyurappa and Ananth Kumar factions.
There have been instances of Gowda intervening on behalf of few MLAs with BS Yeddyurappa. These qualities would come in handy now that he is chief minister. Even during the bitter contest between the two factions for the chief minister’s post, those opposed to Yeddyurappa remarked that they have nothing personal against Sadananda Gowda and praised his pleasing personality.
Gowda is a surname generally associated with the dominant Vokkaliga caste but Sadananda Gowda actually belongs to the Dakshina Kannada Gowda sect, which is a distinct community. Gowda is the second chief minister from the Dakshina Kannada, the first being Veerappa Moily. Economic Times