DK Shivakumar: The Congress' Troubleshooter On A Mission Impossible In Himachal Pradesh

DK Shivakumar: The Congress' Troubleshooter On A Mission Impossible In Himachal Pradesh

Will DK Shivakumar also be able to save the Congress government in Himachal through his sly maneuvers on this occasion, or will his efforts fail to yield the success he had previously achieved? The answer to this question will become clear in due time.

Vinay MishraUpdated: Thursday, February 29, 2024, 02:43 PM IST
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DK Shiavakumar | Facebook

Congress party in Himachal Pradesh is treading a thin line to keep the government intact. Amid rebellious tunes among Congress MLAs, the party high command has once again placed its trust in Karnataka's Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, known as the troubleshooter for Congress, to rescue the Congress from the crisis in.

Shivakumar, along with former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Hooda, has been appointed as an observer to ensure the stability of the government in Himachal. On Thursday, Himachal Pradesh chief minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu called for a meeting of legislators. This meeting is considered crucial in many aspects.

Will DK Shivakumar also be able to save the Congress government in Himachal through his sly maneuvers on this occasion, or will his efforts fail to yield the success he had previously achieved? The answer to this question will become clear in due time.

Let's take a look at DK Shivakumar's political career and weigh the reasons that have created Shivakumar's image as a troubleshooter.

DK Shivakumar is well-known as one of India's wealthiest politicians, boasting a substantial portfolio valued at over 1,300 crore rupees. This includes various assets, both physical and financial, held by his family. Despite his influential status, Shivakumar faced numerous setbacks in his aspirations to become the Chief Minister of Karnataka. After playing a key role in leading the Congress party to a crucial victory in the 2023 assembly elections, many saw him as the top choice for the prestigious position. However, the party's ultimate decision to bestow the mantle upon Siddaramaiah marked a testament to the adage, 'Close, but no cigar'.

Political career

The 61-year-old Shivakumar, an eight-time MLA, commenced his political journey as a student leader in the 1980s and steadily ascended the ranks within the Congress party.

His initial electoral endeavour in the 1985 Assembly election pitted him against former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda in the erstwhile Sathanur constituency, resulting in Shivakumar's defeat. However, he secured victory in the 1989 Assembly election, marking his entry into the political arena. At the age of 30, Shivakumar assumed the role of Minister for Prisons in the S Bangarappa Cabinet during 1991-92. Since then, he has maintained an unbroken streak of electoral success.

In the 1999 elections, Shivakumar defeated former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy in Sathanur, igniting a longstanding political rivalry with the Deve Gowda family. His political prominence flourished during the SM Krishna-led Congress government (1999-2004), where he held the Urban Development and Cooperation portfolio. Many observers view this period as important in shaping his political and business fortunes, with suggestions that he was being groomed as the next chief ministerial candidate from the Congress by CM Krishna himself.

Troubleshooter image

Shivakumar is known as a well-connected and influential figure within the Congress party. He's not only financially well-off but also holds considerable political clout, able to mobilise crowds and resolve crises effectively, making him a reliable troubleshooter for the party leadership. Essentially, he's the go-to person for any situation or circumstance.

His skill in crisis management was evident during the 2002 no-confidence vote in Maharashtra, where he played a crucial role in safeguarding the government's stability. Shivakumar hosted around 40 Maharashtra MLAs at his resort in Bengaluru until the floor test day. Similarly, he played a significant role in ensuring the victory of late Ahmed Patel in the 2017 Gujarat Rajya Sabha election by organising the seclusion of Congress MLAs in a resort.

Shivakumar's strategic maneuvering also played a crucial role in the 2018 Karnataka state elections. Despite the BJP falling short of a majority, it was widely expected that seasoned politician BS Yediyurappa would secure a trust vote. However, Shivakumar intervened, preventing Yediyurappa from gaining the confidence of the house. Ultimately, Yediyurappa resigned before the floor test, allowing the Congress to take control.

Furthermore, Shivakumar's influence extended to the electoral success of his brother DK Suresh in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, even during the Modi wave. Remarkably, DK Suresh was the sole Congress candidate to emerge victorious in Karnataka during the 2019 elections.

Additionally, interesting family connections add to Shivakumar's intrigue, with his daughter Aishwarya married to Cafe Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha's son Amartya. Notably, Amartya's mother is the daughter of former Karnataka chief minister SM Krishna.

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