DB Chandre Gowda, veteran politician who made way for Indira Gandhi in Chikkamagaluru, passes away at 87

A notable moment in his political career was his selfless act of resigning as a LS member in 1978 to pave the way for ex-PM Indira Gandhi to contest from Chikkamagaluru.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published Nov 07, 2023 | 6:24 PM Updated Nov 07, 2023 | 6:24 PM

DB Chandre Gowda Chandregowda

Renowned Karnataka politician and former minister DB Chandre Gowda passed away at the age of 87 in his residence in Daradahalli, Mudigere taluk, succumbing to age-related ailments in the early hours of Tuesday, 7 November.

The veteran leader, best known for vacating his Lok Sabha seat in 1978 so that Indira Gandhi could contest from Chikkamagaluru, is survived by his wife and four daughters.

Condolences from the political world

He leaves behind a legacy of political service that spanned across several decades and political affiliations.

His mortal remains will be placed at Adyanthaya Rangamandira in Mudigere for supporters and well-wishers to pay their respects until evening, with the last rites likely to be conducted in his hometown of Daradahalli on Wednesday, stated sources close to his family.

A plethora of politicians expressed their condolences to Chandre Gowda’s family, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, JD(S) supremo and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his Cabinet ministers, and several BJP leaders, including former chief minister Basavaraj Bommai.

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Chandre Gowda’s political career

Chandre Gowda made a significant impact on Karnataka politics, having represented all four legislative bodies — Assembly, Council, Lok Sabha, and Rajya Sabha — in his five-decade-long political career.

His political journey included affiliations with various parties, including Praja Socialist Party, Karnataka Kranti Ranga, Janata Party, Janata Dal, Congress, and BJP.

Entering politics in 1971 through the Congress, Gowda served as a MP in the Lok Sabha three times and in the Rajya Sabha once.

After vacating his seat for Indira Gandhi in 1978, he became a Member of the Legislative Council that year, representing the Congress, and held a ministerial position in Devaraj Urs’s Cabinet.

Subsequently, he transitioned to the Karnataka Kranti Ranga, along with Urs, in response to the changing political landscape. Gowda, a three-term member of the Legislative Assembly, served as the Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister in SM Krishna’s government, representing both the Janata Party and the Congress.

His political journey also saw him as a Rajya Sabha member in 1986, representing the Janata Party, which later transformed into the Janata Dal. In 2009, he successfully contested the Bangalore North Parliamentary Constituency, securing a seat in the Lok Sabha on a BJP ticket.

Throughout his career, Chandre Gowda held ministerial positions in various governments and he served as the Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly from 1983 to 1985.

Additionally, he assumed the role of Leader of the Opposition in both the Legislative Assembly and Council, contributing significantly to the political landscape of Karnataka.

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Top BJP leaders express condolences

In his post on X, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences.

Calling Chandre Gowda a “stalwart leader”, Modi said, “Anguished by the passing away of Shri DB Chandregowda Ji. A stalwart of public service, his extensive experience as MP, MLA, and Minister in Karnataka has left an indelible mark. ”

“His deep understanding of our Constitution and commitment to social service was remarkable. My heartfelt condolences to his family and supporters,” the Prime Minister added.

Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah offering condolences, posted on X, “Deeply grieved by the passing away of former BJP MP and veteran leader DB Chandregowda.”

“Living a life devoted to the service to the nation, Gowda ji tirelessly pursued the cause of excellence in politics. His absence leaves a void in Karnataka politics,” added Shah.

BJP National President JP Nadda, Union ministers, including Rajeev Chandrasekhar and Shobha Karandlaje, as well as former chief ministers BS Yediyurappa and Basavaraj Bommai expressed their condolences.

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Siddaramaiah to take part in final rites

Stating that he will participate in the final rites of Chandre Gowda, Siddaramaiah asserted, “His demise is injustice and a big loss to Karnataka politics.”

Siddaramaiah told reporters in Hassan on Tuesday, “I am taking part in the cremation. He belongs to Mudigere taluka.”

“He being a parliamentarian of Chikkamagaluru segment, he sacrificed his seat for former PM Indira Gandhi. He then left the Congress and joined the Janata Party,” he recalled.

Siddaramaiah continued, “He was the speaker and Leader of Opposition. He joined the Congress again and became the Law Minister. He then joined BJP and was an MP. He worked at various levels.”

“He was a senior politician. He was an intellectual politician and read a lot about literature. His death is a loss to the politics of Karnataka,” the chief minister said.

In his post on X, Congress veteran and MLC BK Hariprasad said, “Saddened to hear about the passing away of DB Chandregowda, who was former speaker of the legislative assembly, MLA, MLC and MP.”

“His contributions to Karnataka’s Legislative and Parliamentary bodies will be remembered,” Hariprasad expressed condolences.

Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, who is also the KPCC president, ministers KH Muniyappa, HK Patil, MB Patil, and other Cabinet ministers, while expressing condolences, recalled the contributions of Chandre Gowda to Karnataka politics and policy matters related to administration and law.

(With inputs from PTI)