H. D. Kumaraswamy is an Indian politician, film producer, and businessman, who is a member of the Janata Dal (Secular) party. He has twice served as the Chief Minister of Karnataka (2006-2007 and 2018-2019). He was the Leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly from 2013 to 2014. He is the son of the former prime minister of India & former Chief Minister of Karnataka H. D. Deve Gowda.
Haradanahalli Deve Gowda Kumaraswamy The Times of India was born on Wednesday, 16 December 1959 (age 63 years; as of 2022) in Haradanahalli, Holenarasipura taluk of Hassan district, Karnataka. His zodiac sign is Sagittarius. Growing up, he was a notorious student who would bunk classes to watch films, argue with teachers, and listen to cricket commentary or film songs sitting on the back bench. Talking about the same in an interview, he said,
I used to create mayhem at home, hitting the walls, banging the doors, only to make my mother give me some money to buy cinema tickets.”
I was an average student in school, and gave my parents trouble by scoring low marks. I failed in PUC. I also used to get into scraps in college.”
Height (approx.): 5′ 5″
Hair Colour: Black (half bald)
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
His father, H. D. Deve Gowda, is an Indian politician and founder of the Janata Dal (Secular) party who served as the 11th Prime Minister of India (1 June 1996-21 April 1997). His mother’s name is Chennamma. He has 5 siblings, 3 brothers and 2 sisters. H. D. Kumaraswamy is the third son of his parents. His eldest brother, Balakrishna Gowda, is a former Karnataka Administrative Service officer. His brother H. D. Revanna is an Indian politician and member of JD(S). His youngest brother, H.D. Ramesh, is a doctor.
His sister Anusuya is a homemaker who is married to Dr C.N. Manjunath, a cardiologist at Shri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology. His sister Shylaja is a homemaker who is married to Dr Chandra Shekhar, an orthopaedic surgeon.
Wife & Children
On 13 March 1986, he got married to Anitha Kumaraswamy, a chemical engineering graduate. Anitha contested the Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha constituency in the 2013 bye-elections, but she lost to INC candidate D. K. Suresh. In September 2007, Kumaraswamy established the Kannada television channel Kasturi, which was later owned and managed by his wife Anitha. Together, they have a son, Nikhil Kumaraswamy (or Nikhil Gowda), who is an actor and politician known for his work in Kannada films. Nikhil debut film Jaguar (2016) and 2nd film Seetharama Kalyana (2019) were produced by Kumaraswamy, under Chennambika Films.
In 2006, he secretly got married to Radhika Kumaraswamy, an actress, who mainly appeared in Kannada films, besides Tamil and Telugu films. Together, they have a daughter, Shamika K. Swamy.
The marriage became public in November 2010 when Radhika selectively released her pictures with Kumaraswamy and the baby girl. Sources close to Kumaraswamy claimed that the release of photographs was nothing but an attempt by Radhika to claim legality and assert her status in society as ‘insurance’ against something going wrong in future. Sources were sceptical that maybe all is not well between the actress and Kumaraswamy. The New Indian Express Previously, Radhika was married to Ratan Kumar, who died in August 2002 following a heart attack.
He belongs to the Vokkaliga community, a group of closely-related castes, from the Indian state of Karnataka. The Quint Vokkaliga is categorised in the Other Backward Classes in Karnataka. However, it is an influential caste like the Lingayats in the state, which form 16 percent of its population.
His permanent address is 281, Padmanabhanagar, Banashankari II, Bangalore – 560070, Karnataka.
Kumaraswamy ventured into politics as a member of the Janata Dal party during the 1996 general elections when he won the Kanakapura Lok Sabha seat. Meanwhile, Janata Dal reached its pinnacle as H. D. Deve Gowda became Prime Minister of India in 1996, heading the United Front (UF) coalition government. Kumaraswamy again contested from Kanakapura during the 1998 general elections, but he lost to BJP candidate M.Srinivas. In the 1999 general elections, he once again contested the Kanakapura seat, but he lost to INC candidate M. V. Chandrashekara Murthy. The Janata Dal party split in 1999 when a faction led by Chief Minister J. H. Patel started supporting the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, leading to the formation of Janata Dal (Secular) under H. D. Deve Gowda and Siddaramaiah.
During the 1999 Karnataka Legislative Assembly elections, he contested from Sathanur on a party ticket from the JD(S), but he lost to INC candidate D. K. Shivakumar. In 2004, he was elected as MLA from Ramanagara. The 2004 assembly election resulted in a hung assembly with no party getting enough seats to form a government. Consequently, the INC with 65 members and JD(S) with 58 members formed a coalition to run the government with Dharam Singh as the chief minister. However, in early 2006, the JD(S) withdrew its support from the coalition government and instead forged an alliance with the BJP. A new government was formed with H. D. Kumaraswamy of the JD(S) as Chief Minister and B.S. Yeddyurappa of the BJP as Deputy Chief Minister. Kumaraswamy was sworn in as the CM of Karnataka on 3 February 2006 and held the position till 9 October 2007.
Portfolios allotted to him were Home Department, Department Personnel and Administrative Reforms, Cabinet Affairs, Intelligence, Urban Development, and Other departments not allocated to any Minister. In September 2007, he announced that he would step down on October 3 per the power-sharing accord with ally BJP but legislators of the two ruling coalition partners asked him not to decide on quitting in haste and to take them into confidence on the issue. The Power games in Karnataka finally ended when the Centre imposed President’s Rule in the state on the recommendation of Governor Rameshwar Thakur following Kumaraswamy’s resignation on 8 October 2007. Later, Kumaraswamy decided to lend his support to the BJP following which B. S. Yeddyurappa was sworn in as the CM of Karnataka on 12 November 2007. However, once again Kumaraswamy refused to support the BJP government over a disagreement on sharing of ministries which led to Yeddyurappa’s resignation as Chief Minister on 19 November 2007. In 2008, he was re-elected as MLA from Ramanagara. In the 2009 general elections, he was elected as MP from Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha constituency following which he vacated the Ramanagara assembly seat. Thereafter, he served as the Member, Committee on Rural Development (31 August 2009) and Member, Committee on Food Management in Parliament House Complex (15 October 2009). In 2013, he was re-elected as MLA from Ramanagara. On 31 May 2013, he assumed the position of Leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
In August 2013, the Janata Dal (Secular) Legislative Party (JDLP) rejected the resignation of H.D. Kumaraswamy from the post of Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly. In 2014, he was appointed as the President of Janata Dal (Secular), Karnataka. He took over as the Karnataka JD(S) president after the passing away of Merajuddin Patel. In 2018, he was re-elected as MLA from Ramanagara. Simultaneously, he was elected as MLA from Channapatna, defeating BJP candidate C. P. Yogeshwar. The Ramanagara seat fell vacant after Kumaraswamy gave up the seat, preferring Chennapatna, the other constituency from where he had won. Thereafter, it was secured by his wife, Anitha Kumaraswamy, in the bye-elections. The 2018 assembly elections led to a hung assembly following which the INC-JD(S) coalition formed the cabinet with HD Kumaraswamy as Chief Minister.
When the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government released a list of portfolios it revealed that Kumaraswamy was in charge of 11 portfolios and departments including the Department of Cabinet Affairs, Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms, Department of Finance (including Excise, Institutional Finance and Small Savings & Lotteries), Intelligence wing from Home Department, Information & Public Relations from Kannada and Culture (Information and Public Relation Department), Planning and Statistics Department, Energy Department, Department of Public Enterprises, Infrastructure Development Department, Textiles from Commerce and Industries Department, and the ones which was not assigned to anybody. This coalition government lasted for 14 months before turmoil started again. 16 Legislators from the ruling coalition resigned within a span of 2 days and 2 independent MLAs switched their support to BJP. Following 3 weeks of turmoil, HD Kumarasamy lost the trust vote by 100–107 in the house (held on 23 July 2019) and resigned. On 26 July 2019, B. S. Yediyurappa took oath as the Chief Minister of Karnataka once again. In 2023, he was elected as MLA from Channapatna, defeating BJP candidate C. P. Yogeshwar by a margin of 20,000 votes. Meanwhile, JD(S) managed to win 19 seats of the contested 204 seats in the same elections.
Besides politics, Kumaraswamy also runs a film-distribution company Chennambika Films, a cinema hall, and a petrol pump, along with his three brothers. He debuted as a producer with the 1999 Kannada drama film Surya Vamsha, produced under Chennambika Films. Other hit films produced by him include Chandra Chakori (2003).
Accused of Conspiring to Murder B. Sriramulu
In 2007, tourism minister B Sriramulu accused Kumaraswamy of conspiring to murder him during the run-up to state-wide civic polls. Sriramulu did not lodge any criminal complaint with the police over the attempt to murder, but he submitted a petition against the chief minister’s political secretary Suryanarayana Reddy and other JD(S) leaders. The incident happened amid the cat-and-mouse game among Karnataka’s ruling coalition partners, BJP and JD(S), over the transfer of power. Sriramulus statements against Kumaraswamy brought the ruling coalition to the brink of breakup. Talking to reporters, Kumaraswamy alleged that some BJP leaders were conspiring to malign his image in public. Thereafter, Sriramulu tendered his resignation as a minister to BJP legislature party leader and deputy chief minister B S Yediyurappa. To ensure that he does not remain a bone of contention in the power-sharing, he announced that he would not be part of the JD(S)-BJP coalition ministry even after Kumaraswamy relinquishes the chief ministership to BJP’s deputy chief minister B S Yediyurappa during the next 20 months. Mumbai Mirror
In 2011, advocate Shashidhar Belagumbe filed a public interest litigation in the Karnataka High Court accusing Kumaraswamy of violating the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 by entering into wedlock with his second wife, Radhika, though he was married to Anitha. Until then, Kumaraswamy and his family had maintained strict silence on the issue in public. As proof of Kumaraswamy’s alleged affair with Radhika, Belagumbe submitted newspaper reports quoting that Kumaraswamy had married actress Radhika. Belagumbe also submitted photographs of Kumaraswamy and Radhika together with their child. However, the division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen dismissed the petition filed by Belagumba on the grounds of lack of proof. The Indian Express
Accused of Involvement in Janthakal Mining Scam
In 2017, Lokayukta levelled corruption charges against Kumaraswamy for his alleged involvement in an illegal iron or mining scam connected to the Jantakal mines in Karnataka. Reportedly, Kumaraswamy, who served as the Chief Minister of Karnataka from 2006 to 2007, facilitated a major mining scam to help a privately-owned company named Janthakal Enterprises during his term. Kumaraswamy allegedly pressured a senior bureaucrat Ganga Ram Baderiya to renew the firm’s mining lease in 2007 for 40 years in violation of several rules and on the basis of forged documents. Another allegation against Kumaraswamy was that Janthakal Enterprises was allowed to lift 100,000 tonnes of iron ore without requisite permissions under the Forest Conservation Act. Although Kumaraswamy dismissed the charges saying the case was made out of political vendetta, a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and P C Pant directed Kumaraswamy and his wife to face trial in the graft case. The Indian Express
In 2016, the SC bench set aside the 2011 ruling of the Karnataka high court that quashed criminal proceedings against former Kumaraswamy and ordered him to face trial in a 2007 land allotment case. A Bengaluru-based advocate named Vinod Kumar had obtained information under the Right to Information Act that Kumaraswamy had allotted approximately 80 acres of land to Vishwabharathi Housing Cooperative Society just four days before he resigned as Chief Minister of Karnataka in 2007. The Times of India
Land De-Notification Case
In 2018, a special Lokayukta court acquitted Kumaraswamy in a land de-notification. Judge D B Patil said he did not find any proof to establish Kumaraswamy’s guilt in the case. Earlier, the complainant Mahadevswamy had alleged that Kumaraswamy, during his tenure as Chief Minister of Karnataka in 2007, had de-notified 3.8 acres of land in Thanisandra village, which had been acquired by the Bangalore Development Authority for the formation of residential sites in Arkavathy Layout. Mahadevswamy sought action against Kumaraswamy under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Thereafter, Kumaraswamy filed a petition seeking dismissal of the case contending that there was no proof to establish it. Deccan Chronicle
Accusing BJP of Violence During CAA Protests
In 2020, Kumaraswamy, during a press meet held in JP Bhavan in Bengaluru, released Video CDs of the violent clashes between police and anti-CAA protesters in Mangaluru. In the video, the police lathi-charged the protestors and opened fire that killed 2 people. The Hindu He criticized the ruling BJP government for directing the police to follow inhuman orders to suppress the protest. In reciprocation of the accusations, BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje accused him of misleading the probe, citing that the videos were fabricated. She also demanded to know the source of the CD. Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa also dismissed the videos calling them a ‘cut-and-paste job’. The Times of India
Garnered Critisim For Anti-Brahmin Remarks
In the aftermath of the 2023 Karnataka Legislative Assembly elections, Kumaraswamy had claimed that RSS was “conspiring” to make Pralhad Joshi, who was Union Minister for Coal and Mines, the CM of Karnataka. Kumaraswamy alleged the latter belonged to a category among Brahmins, who lacked culture and divides society. Coming down heavily on Joshi, Kumaraswamy said that the Union Minister belonged to a sect of Brahmins which desecrated the Sringeri Shankaracharya Peeth and assassinated Mahatma Gandhi. Kumaraswamy gave the remarks in response to Joshi’s statement that the JD(S) should have undertaken a “Navagraha Yatra ” instead of a Pancharatna Yatra (party rally) “as 8-9 members of the party patriarch H D Deve Gowda’s immediate family are in politics.” Days after the statement sparked controversy and drew immense criticism, Kumaraswamy clarified that he had only referred to those Brahmins who had attacked the Chandramouleshwara temple in Sringeri, a section which assassinated Mahatma Gandhi and Maratha ruler Shivaji. He said those who were behind these incidents were not from Karnataka but the neighbouring state of Maharashtra. Hindustan Times
Objectionable Comments on MP Sumalatha
In 2021, Kumaraswamy sparked controversy when he suggested that independent Sumalatha Ambareesh, MP from Mandya, should “sleep in front of the sluice gates of Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) reservoir in the district to prevent seepage”. The Times of India
Assets & Properties
- Cash: Rs. 12,05,380
- Deposits in Banks: Rs. 11,68,858
- Bonds, Debentures and Shares in companies: Rs. 10,53,220
- NSS, Postal Savings etc: Rs. 62,000
- Personal loans/advance given: Rs. 7,16,75,178
- Motor Vehicles: Rs. 12,55,816
- Jewellery: Rs. 53,05,000
- Other assets: Rs. 2,27,31,167
- Agricultural Land: Rs. 30,60,26,000
- Residential Buildings: Rs. 5,52,81,000
- Film: Bangaarada Manushya (1972)
- Actor (Kannada): Dr. Rajkumar
- Food: Nati koli saaru, Fish Curry
- He is referred to as Kumaranna (Kumar, the elder brother) by his followers. Hindustan Times He is also nicknamed HDK and Mannina Mommaga by various media houses. Bangalore Mirror The Times of India
- In an interview, he revealed that his wife Anitha was against his decision to venture into politics. Bangalore Mirror While talking about the same he said,
She said she would marry me only if I didn’t enter politics. However, over the years, she has realised my commitment to my people, and now she completely believes in me.”
- Apart from this father, Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, and Lal Bahadur Shastri inspired Kumaraswamy to get into politics.
- Once the allotment of a ministerial bungalow to Kumaraswamy in Delhi’s Safdarjung Lane led to accusations of preferential treatment, though Kumaraswamy himself claimed it was an SPG requirement.
- Kumaraswamy is also known for accusing political rivals of corruption.
- In the 2019 parliament elections, his son Nikhil Gowda contested the Mandya Lok Sabha seat against an independent candidate Sumalatha, wife of Kannada film actor Ambareesh. Nikhil lost the election to Sumalatha by a margin of 1,30,000 votes. This was a major setback in Kumaraswamy’s political career which led him to shed tears at a party convention in Mandya. Kumaraswamy accused the JD(S)’ coalition partner Congress of supporting his son’s rival candidate Sumalatha Ambareesh and betraying him.
- In 2017, he went through a valve replacement surgery. He had also undergone an open heart surgery in December 2007. Apart from that, he is also diabetic.
- Kumaraswamy is a vegetarian. Earlier, he was a non-vegetarian, but he quit eating meat due to health issues in 2014. Bangalore Mirror