Bengaluru: Suraj Revanna, grandson of former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, has become the eighth member of the Gowda clan — over three generations — to enter electoral politics in Karnataka.
Among political families spanning generations with the most number of members ever in active politics, this makes the Gowda family second only to the Nehru-Gandhis.
On Tuesday, Suraj, a doctor and son of former Karnataka minister H.D. Revanna, was elected as member of Karnataka’s Legislative Council from Hassan constituency, winning with a margin of 1,433 votes.
The biennial election to 25 seats in the Upper House of the bicameral legislature was held on 10 December. Elected members of local bodies like municipal corporations, gram panchayats and town panchayats across 20 districts are voters in the election.
Suraj’s candidature from his family’s home turf had sharpened charges of dynastic politics against Janata Dal Secular (JD-S). He had filed his nomination despite criticism.
The party supremo and ex-PM H.D. Deve Gowda had sought to deny these charges at a meeting of party workers in Hassan, while asking their opinion on candidates.
“This is not a father-sons’ party. The opinion of MLAs, aspirants and party workers would be collected before announcing the name of the candidate,” Gowda had reportedly told JD(S) workers on 12 November. Suraj was subsequently chosen as the candidate by his grandfather.
The Gowda clan
Suraj is the eight member of the Gowda family to contest elections, starting with his grandfather — a former PM and current Rajya Sabha MP — to his younger brother, who is Lok Sabha MP.
Suraj’s uncle and aunt — H.D. Kumaraswamy and Anita Kumaraswamy — are current members of the Karnataka legislative assembly. H.D. Kumaraswamy has been the state’s chief minister twice. On both occasions, he led a coalition government.
Suraj’s father, H.D. Revanna, is a member of the Karnataka legislative assembly. His mother, Bhavani Revanna, is a former zilla panchayat member from Hassan. Suraj himself is a director of the Hassan District Central Cooperative bank. Both Suraj and his mother Bhavani Revanna were in the running for the MLC ticket.
Suraj’s younger brother, Prajwal Revanna, was elected as a Lok Sabha MP from Hassan in 2019. His cousin Nikhil Kumaraswamy contested unsuccessfully from the Mandya Lok Sabha constituency in 2019. Nikhil and Prajwal both made their debut in electoral politics in 2019, but have been official members of the JD(S) for years.
Nikhil is currently the JD(S) youth wing president.
(Edited by Amit Upadhyaya)