‘You know the saddest thing about betrayal? It never comes from your enemy.’ This immortal quote from “The Godfather’ series fits quite aptly on H D Deve Gowda, who was once the undisputed monarch of politics in Southern India. Shunned by the very people he once meticulously groomed for the bigger stage, which also includes his protégé and the current CM of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah, Deve Gowda now terms grooming this CM as the biggest mistake of his life.’
The ex Chief Minister of Karnataka, as well as ex PM, Mr. Deve Gowda was invited in this dual capacity for the inauguration of the Mastakabhishekam ceremony of the statue of Lord Gomateshwara Bahubali at Shravanbelangola in Karnataka, also attended by the President of India, Mr. Ram Nath Kovind.
However, the way the mentor was royally snubbed by his own disciple was something Deve Gowda could never have imagined even in his wildest of dreams. Not only did CM Siddaramaiah refuse to share the stage with him, he also prevented Mr. Deve Gowda from saying anything on stage. Humiliated by this insult, Deve Gowda went out all guns blazing in a recent party event. The chief of Janata Dal [Secular] party labeled the CM as ‘mean’.
To quote Deve Gowda “…………….The Chief Minister (Siddaramaiah)who is mean to this extent, has grown from this party (JD(S)). Is he a Chief Minister? How long will you stay? I will see. I have taken a vow. I will today seek apology from the people of Karnataka for grooming such an immoral politician” “…….Grooming such a lowly Chief Minister is my biggest mistake. I will repeatedly say he is unfit to continue in the post,” he further added.
While it’s a golden rule in politics, that loyalties can never be permanent, one cannot forget the clout Mr. Deve Gowda once sported. A popular CM of Karnataka since 1994, he had pipped the likes of V.P. Singh, Jyoti Basu and Moopanar to become the first ever PM from the Third Front, not belonging to either Congress or BJP, in 1996, shortly after Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s coalition government failed to secure majority and fell within 13 days of coming into power. However, like most other PMs of coalition governments, his tenure did not last long and he had to step down in 1997. It is Deve Gowda who had brought Siddaramaiah to prominence, and even made him Deputy CM in the first coalition government of the state of Karnataka.
But the relationship didn’t last very long, and accusing Deve Gowda of giving more preference to his own son, H.D. Kumaraswamy, the then CM of the Congress – Janata Dal [Secular], Siddaramaiah left for greener pastures in 2005, joining the Karnataka wing of the Congress [I] party.
13 years later, the very Siddaramaiah is now the incumbent CM of Karnataka, facing the storm of anti incumbency. Be it maladministration, or excessive minority appeasement, Siddaramaiah has faltered as a CM on almost every front. Yet, reluctant to give up the post, Siddaramaiah is now using every trick under the Sun in order to stay in power, even if it means to insult the very people he was groomed by. By humiliating the very man, who brought him to the position that he holds, Siddaramaiah is now doing the same mistake as Tarun Gogoi did in Asom, only that the positions have reversed.
With that, Siddaramaiah is now only digging his political grave deeper, as he is alienating the very people, who for once, could steer him back to power. They said it right, ‘Never Forget Your Roots’. However, now that Siddaramaiah has forgotten the very roots he hailed from, it won’t be a surprise if he’s massively drubbed the way Akhilesh Yadav and Tarun Gogoi, by neglecting the very people who brought them to power.