With the Karnataka political crisis showing no signs of ending anytime soon, Congress leader and state water resources minister DK Shivakumar continues to be the active troubleshooter for the coalition government.
A seven-time legislator, Doddalahalli Kempegowda Shivakumar, popularly known as DKS, has continued to live up to his “proactive and loyal” image as a leader who puts things back in place for his party. Shivakumar had drawn criticism from BJP after BS Yeddyurappa accused him of tearing the resignation papers of MLAs in the Speaker’s chamber.
However, a stern and unapologetic Shivakumar reacted by saying, “Why should I not? Let them (resigned legislators) file a complaint, if they want to put me behind the bars, I’m ready. I have taken a very big risk.”
Even as Shivakumar braved Mumbai rains on Wednesday, waiting outside Renaissance Hotel to meet ‘his friends’ camping in Mumbai since tendering resignations, the leader declared, “This DK Shivakumar is not afraid of slogans. I have come alone, I will die alone.” He was detained later and released in the evening.
DKS has lived his political life with the ‘troubleshooter’ image ever since he hosted Congress MLAs from Maharashtra in Bengaluru as the Vilasrao Deshmukh-led government faced a similar crisis back in 2001. His managerial acumen to keep the flock together had made him popular among the corridors of power even in Delhi.
A keen political strategist, DKS later made headlines in August 2017 when he successfully managed to protect 42 Gujarat MLAs in a resort in the outskirts of Bangalore. He was widely credited for handling the situation which is believed to have led to Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel’s victory in the Rajya Sabha polls.
DKS was then picked by the Congress high command to safeguard legislators soon after the 2018 Karnataka assembly elections results were announced on May 15, incidentally his 56th birthday as well.
Elected from Kanakapura, a constituency that was once a JD(S) bastion, situated 55 km south to the state capital, Shivakumar’s skills in preventing the legislators from getting lured away by the BJP saw then three-day Chief minister BS Yeddyurappa not even going for a floor test in the Assembly to prove majority. This paved way for the incumbent Kumaraswamy-led coalition government to take over on May 23, 2018.
Shivakumar was first elected to the Karnataka Assembly in 1989 from Sathanur when he defeated JD(S) supremo HD Devegowda. A decade later, DKS went on to defeat HD Kumaraswamy from the same constituency. DKS secured his hat-trick win from Kanakapura in the 2018 elections.
Shivakumar had hit headlines in 2018 before the elections after declaring assets worth Rs 618 crore. Also a four-time minister, Shivakumar has held portfolios such as Prisons and Homeguards, Urban Development, Energy and Medical Education apart from the Water Resources portfolio that he is in charge at present.