H D Kumaraswamy is a former chief minister of Karnataka and the eldest son of JD(S) national president H D Deve Gowda. Kumaraswamy was a successful filmmaker and distributor before he turned into a full-time politician. He entered politics by winning the Kanakapura Lok Sabha seat in the 1996 general election. He has, however, lost his deposit in the subsequent election in 1998 when Congress candidate late M V Chandrasekhara won from the seat.
After facing defeat in the 1999 assembly election, Kumaraswamy had to wait until the 2004 election to enter the Karnataka Vidhan Sabha. He won from the Ramanagara assembly segment, a seat which he is yet to lose. The year saw the JD(S) enter into a coalition with the Congress after the electorate sprung a fractured verdict. It was the for the first time that a coalition government was formed in Karnataka. Then JD(S) leader Siddaramaiah became the deputy chief minister.
In 2006, Kumaraswamy pulled his party MLAs out of the coalition government, triggering a collapse. Chief Minister Dharam Singh resigned before Kumaraswamy formed the government with help from the BJP. Despite agreeing to transfer power to the BJP, Kumaraswamy refused to hand over the keys to B S Yeddyurappa. He resigned in October 2007 and President’s rule was imposed. However, Yeddyurappa was sworn-in as the 19th chief minister after Kumaraswamy reconciled with the BJP and extended its support.
He took over as the Karnataka JD(S) president after the passing away of Merajuddin Patel. Kumaraswamy quit the post after the party lost the bye-election in Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha constituency and Mandya. He returned as state president only in 2014.
In the 2018 assembly election, he won from both the Channapatna and Ramanagara constituencies by a huge margin. A split verdict meant that he is likely to be sworn in as the new chief minister after the Congress decided to support the JD(S). Speaking to PTI in April, said he would not be a “kingmaker” and instead people of Karnataka would bless him as “king” in the May 12 Karnataka Assembly polls.