A Master Strategist

D.K.Shivakumar, born to Sri Kempegowda and Smt Gowramma of Dodda Alahalli village in Kanakapura taluk, [May 15, 1962] has inherited leadership qualities from his Father. At the young age of 18, he become a member of National Student Union of India [NSUI] the student wing of Indian National Congress and soon became its District President of Bangalore. [1981-83]

He was a student leader while at R.C. College in Bangalore. Later he inducted into Youth Congress and became General Secretary of Karnataka State Youth Congress committee [1983-1985]. As the President of Bangalore rural district Youth congress, he had organized several blood donation camps, Free Medical Checkup camps at remote rural places in his native Kanakapura taluk.

At the young age of 23, DKS was chosen by the Congress party to contest against the mighty H D Devegowda, the then powerful Janatha party leader and Minister at Sathanur. It was a fierce battle but finally DKS lost by a very narrow margin. But his constant touch with the voters of Sathanur got him elected to Bangalore Rural Zilla Panchayat in 1987. In 1989 assembly polls, the Congress has again choose him to contest as Congress candidate from Sathanur, which he has won with a thumping margin.

In 1991, when the Sri Veerendra Patil was to step down as Chief Minister due to his ill health, DKS played a prominent role in getting Sri S Bangarappa elected as successor to Sri Veerendra Patil. DKS was rewarded by Sri S Bangarappa with a Minister berth [Minister of State for Prisons, Home guards] [1991-1992].

He withstood a political conspiracy hatched by his political rivals in the Congress Party and he was denied a congress ticket in 1989. Nevertheless He had contested the election as an Independent from Sathanur assembly constituency. He was successfully re-elected as MLA.

Despite being an Independent MLA, DKS was instrumental in convincing Sri S M Krishna who had by then went to political oblivion and made him to contest as Congress nominee for Rajya sabha seat. It was the time when the JDS was ruling the state and Shivakumar’s arch rival Sri Devegowda was the Chief Minister. Krishna got elected at the first place, despite less number of congress voters. It was rumoured that even Devegowda as JDS chief Minister defied his party whip and voted in favour of Sri S M Krishna. S M Krishna victory was till today termed as the result of well planned political strategy by the Congress party and the credit has to go to none other Sri DKS.

When Sri S M Krishna was choosen to head the Congress party during 1999 elections, DKS stood as a solid rock behind him and worked for the party success in the assembly polls When Krishna blow the Panchajanya [the mythological mouth-blower instrument Lord Krishna used to encourage his entourage against the Kauravas before the famous Mahabharatha war] it was DKS who organized the event which is now a part of History. As a result, Congress returned to power winning over 139 seats.

Again in 1999, Congress party given him the ticket to contest from Sathanur Assembly constituency this time against Sri H D Kumara Swamy, son of Sri H D Devegowda, Janathadal supremo and former Prime Minister of India. DKS has tasted the victory defeating H D Kumaraswamy. On his successful election for the third time in a row, he became a Cabinet Minister in charge of Co- Operation fortfolio in S.M.Krishna Government [1999-2002].

Again in 2002, DKS was made the cabinet Minister in charge of Urban Development Ministry and also became the Chairman of Karnataka State Town Planning Board. As the Chairman of Cabinet subcommittee, he played a prominent role in formulating and initiating Rajiv Gandhi Yuva Shakthi Sanghatan, empowering the youths to take up rural development and social work.

2004. He was elected MLA for the fourth time from the same Sathanur constituency. But the Congress party fell short of majority and could not form the Government on it’s own, it has to relay upon the support of Janathadal to keep the communal BJP away from power and thus first ever a coalition government came into existence in the state. But in the deal that struck between Devegowda and Congress leaders, DKS was denied a Minister ship in the JDS-Congress coalition government.

[In fact, keeping DKS out of cabinet was the only demand put forth by Sri Devegowda during the negotiations for government formation]. But DKS swallowed the insult done to him, in the sole interest of the Congress party and continued to work for the Congress party as a loyal worker.

He has shown his exemplary qualities of leadership and strategic behavior when the Vilas Rao Deshmukh Government in Maharastra was shaking when there was a dispute between two coalition partners Congress and the National Congress party [NCP]. When BJP was trying to remove the Government by vooing the congress legislators into their fold, Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi, through Smt Ambika Soni, asked DKS to ensure that all Congress legislators were shifted away from Maharastra in an apparent effort to keep them united. Accordingly, DKS arranged a special chartered plane to bring all the congress legislators to Bangalore,where they were kept for couple of days, till the crisis was blown over. The timely intervention by DKS saved the situation for Sri Vilas Rao Deshmukh who continued as the Chief Minister till the completion of the term.

In 2004, while Sri S M Krishna was ignored in the cabinet making and Sri Dharam Singh was choosen as Congress Chief Minister in the coalition Government, DKS played a prominent role in convincing the party High command to provide him an alternate position. Subsequently, Sri Krishna has been made the Governor of Maharastra.

Again when Sri Krishna wanted to step down as the Governor [2006] DKS persuaded him to come back to active politics and made a Member of Rajyasabha. Later on Sri Krishna became the Union Minister for foreign affairs, the prestigious post at the international level.

DKS has the rare distinction of being the first ever Indian Legislator who has introduced the Video conferencing facility at his assembly constituency Kanakapura. The facility installed at Sathanur and Kanakapura gave direct access to the Legislator who can interact face to face with his voters sitting at Bangalore. The system proved successful and popular, as it saved lot of money and time for both. India Today has written an article in its issue dated April 17, 2006 highlighting the rare feat by an Indian Legislator.

As the working President KPCC, DKS has worked to strengthen the student and Youth congress wings of the Party. He has also gave thrust to the congress party to build the own office complex at taluk and district level and played a prominent role in getting required funds for such construction.

It was DKS who inspired and inducted Kum.Ramya, a shining star of Kannada film world into Youth Congress. Within the short span, Ramya win over the hearts of her voters in Mandya district and won with a thumping majority as congress MP.

2013. When the congress party returned to power and Sri Siddaramaiah becoming the Chief Minister, factions in the congress party which was against DKS becoming a minister, succeeded in keeping him away from the ministry by leveling false allegations and projecting false documents before the Congress High command. DKS dared the congress high command to get the documents verified. Accordingly the high command directed two senior legal luminaries who come to the conclusion that DKS has neither committed any mistake nor mis-used his offices as a Minister.

Meantime, the state has witnessed two bye polls to Loksabha caused due to resignation of two JDS leaders who have elected to state Assembly. One such seat was Bangalore Rural Loksbha constituency which was vacated by Former C M H D Kumaraswamy where Smt Anitha Kumaraswamy was made the JDS candidate. DKS used his strategic manipulative ability and organising capacity to penetrate into JDS strong holds of Mandya and Bangalore Rural and instrumental in getting congress candidates elected in both the constituencies. And thus, High command gave green signal for his induction into Sidda ramaiah Ministry after a gap of seven Months and entrusted the energy portfolio.

Within a short span, DKS revitalized the energy department which was plagued with several wrong doings. Transparency has been inducted into the power purchase agreements and many PPAs have been cancelled thus saving tax payers money. Inquiry has been ordered into alleged deals of power purchase at exorbitant by the previous governments. Emphasis has been given to power production through non conventional energy like solar and Wind. Raitha surya a novel scheme of encouraging farmers to go for solar power production was initiated by DKS which was appreciated by the Central Government and Union Energy Minister has called upon other states to follow Karnataka model in solar power generation.

On his home front, DKS is a successful educationist heading a trust which is running engineering, management and nursing colleges besides reputed primary schools. He also heads DKS charitable Institute Trust, which has pivotal in undertaking an ambitious scheme of providing pure drinking water to the citizens through automated water wending machine at a meager cost of Re 1 per 10 litres of water. Even BBC besides several National level Media and TV channels have appreciated the zeal and concern in providing pure drinking water to the villagers. incurring huge cost for installation of such plants. Over 100 water treatment plants where the water is purified in three different techniques have been installed and RO processed Drinking water is being supplied to the villagers which is keeping them away from water borne diseases.

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