Bengaluru: If senior Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar has emerged as a formidable force in Karnataka politics, the credit goes to former Member of Parliament late M Chandrashekara Murthy who groomed him and helped him reach new heights in the Congress Party.
Old Congressmen in the Mandya region still recollect how Mr Chandrashekara Murthy, a five-time Member of Parliament from Kanakapura Lok Sabha constituency who also worked as Union Minister of State for Finance in the P.V. Narasimha Rao Cabinet, spotted the Youth Congress leader in Kanakapura and encouraged him to make a mark in state politics.
Mr Shivakumar plunged into politics leaving behind a tent cinema hall owned by his father near Kanakapura, and got elected as member of the zilla panchayat.
He grew under the watchful eyes of Mr Chandrashekara Murthy and chose Sathanur Assembly constituency to enter the Vidhana Soudha.
He trounced the political heavyweight of that era, Mr P.G.R. Sindhia, and also contested unsuccessfully from the Kanakapura Lok Sabha constituency.
Seeing his political acumen and organising capacity, former Chief Minister S.M. Krishna encouraged young Shivakumar and made him minister in his Cabinet.
From 1992 to 2004, Mr Shivakumar, with the blessings of Mr Krishna became an important Congress leader holding important portfolios in the state ministry.
Mr Shivakumar has worked under several chief ministers, including Mr S Bangarappa, Mr S.M. Krishna, and Mr Siddaramaiah.
‘Don’t join HDK cabinet’
Notwithstanding Janata Dal (Secular) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda’s plan to reward D.K. Shivakumar, a powerful Vokkaliga leader from Ramanagara district, a few of his supporters have reportedly urged their leader not to join the cabinet. They believe that Mr Shivakumar may have to compromise a lot if he joins the ministry headed by state Janata Dal (Secular) president H.D. Kumaraswamy.
“Mr Shivakumar has fought with the Deve Gowda family for very long. When Kumaraswamy became the chief minister in 2006, several cases were filed against Mr Shivakumar. Even though the cases were dismissed by the high court, the state went in appeal to the Supreme Court. For the sake of the party and community, he has sacrificed a lot. If he stays out of the cabinet, he can maintain his independent persona,” sources said.
Mr Shivakumar’s supporters have always considered him superior to the Gowda family and they fear that if he joins the cabinet, Mr Shivakumar may have to play second fiddle to Mr Kumaraswamy and in the long run, the new Chief Minister may cut the former to size.
“This should not happen keeping his future in mind. Therefore, we have suggested to him not to join the cabinet,” sources said....