This was despite the fact that the party was joining hands with his arch rivals — Mr Deve Gowda and his family.
Bengaluru: On a day when Congress leaders jockeyed for the post of deputy chief minister exposing the cracks in the Grand Old Party, one man insisted he would do exactly what the party ordered. D.K. Shivakumar openly acknowledged to this newspaper that he had serious reservations about resolving his long running feud with the Deve Gowda clan, the family of the de facto power behind the throne in Karnataka’s new power equation.
But the Congress’ fast emerging strongman Shivakumar was equally clear that his personal problems with the Gowda family and his long running feud with the incoming chief minister H.D. Kumraswamy was a thing of the past. “I’m a loyal party worker, who will abide by whatever the party decision is,” he said.
The battle dates back to 1985, when he stood against the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda at Sathanur Assembly constituency, and lost. But in 1989, he won the same constituency, defeating Mr Kumaraswamy after a bruising confrontation that became physical.
Since then, he hasn’t looked back. After delimitation of the constituencies, and Sathanur merged with Kanakapura Assembly constituency and he has been winning from there. But Mr Shivakumar’s mojo stems not just from his ability to win Kanakapura but in ensuring that as a trouble shooter extraordinaire for the Congress party, he does what’s required when and where its needed. While S. Bangarappa made him minister first, he soon became the blue-eyed boy of Mr S.M. Krishna. But it was during this poll that he came into his own,.
As the crisis mounted with the BJP pulling out all the stops as they tried to poach legislators to form its own government, Mr Shivakumar pulled out all the stops to ensure no legislators slipped out of the Congress’ net. This was despite the fact that the party was joining hands with his arch rivals — Mr Deve Gowda and his family.