H D Deve Gowda is a former Prime Minister of India and ex-chief minister of Karnataka. He is the National President of the Janata Dal (Secular) and a Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha, representing the Hassan Lok Sabha constituency.
Gowda joined the Congress in 1953 and left the party in 1962. He was elected to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly from the Holenarasipura constituency as an independent candidate and got elected from the same constituency for six consecutive terms from 1962 to 1989.
He served as a minister in the Janata Party government in Karnataka under Ramakrishna Hegde from 1983 to 1988. The president of the state unit of the Janata Dal in 1994, Gowda was elected from the Ramanagara Assembly constituency in 1994 Karnataka Assembly elections and subsequently sworn in as the 14th chief minister of Karnataka.
When there was no clear majority for any party after the 1996 Lok Sabha elections, Deve Gowda was chosen by a coalition consisting of non-Congress, non-Bharatiya Janata Party members as the prime minister candidate. However, the motley coalition could not last a year and he had to step down from the prime ministerial post in June 1997. When the Janata Dal split in 1999, he became the National President of the JD(S). That year, he lost the Lok Sabha elections but regained membership of the Lower House by winning the Kanakapura by-elections in 2002.
Deve Gowda's son, H D Kumaraswamy, is the current chief minister of Karnataka, leading a coalition of the Congress and JD(S). In the event of a hung Parliament, the former prime minister might turn out to be crucial in stitching together an alliance. In Lok Sabha elections 2019, he will contest from the Tumkur Lok Sabha constituency of South Karnataka. The 85-year-old leader has shifted his parliamentary constituency from Hassan, after representing it for a record six times since 1991 to pave the way for his grandson Prajwal to contest in his place for the first time.