Bengaluru: JD(S) patriarch H. D. Deve Gowda and his arch rival and energy minister D. K. Shivakumar not only proved true the adage that there are no permanent enemies in politics, but even turned mutual admirers while espousing the cause of Vokkaligas, here on Saturday.
The occasion: Silver jubilee celebrations of Krishik Samaj, a non-political event.
These leaders flaunted their mutual admiration while lamenting the fact that Vokkaligas are considered ‘second class’ and how politicians belonging to the community had to overcome several hurdles to secure key posts.
In his address, Mr Gowda made an oblique reference to Mr Shivakumar, saying “don't think that you can easily become the Chief Minister. I know the agony I underwent to become the Chief Minister. It is just because we are Vokkaligas and considered second grade. We will not be allowed to scale up to first grade. I have no problems if my son, H D Kumaraswamy or Mr Shivakumar becomes the Chief Minister. I do not know their future. I am pro-Vokkaliga but I am portrayed as anti-other communities. I am suffering this pain since my entry into politics".
On his part, Mr Shivakumar said “I too have suffered a lot during my 30 year-long career in politics. I withstood all challenges, and am standing before you. I do not know what would have happened to someone in my position. It will become big news tomorrow morning if I speak in detail. I thank everyone who stood by me during trying times.”
In 2002, Mr Shivakumar, a minister in Chief Minister S M Krishna’s cabinet, had unsuccessfully contested against Mr Deve Gowda in Kanakapura parliamentary bypoll. Two years later, Mr Shivakumar backed a rookie Congress candidate, Mrs Tejaswini Gowda, and ensured Mr Gowda’s defeat in the same Lok Sabha constituency.