In the 1996 general elections, the Congress party headed by P. V. Narasimha Rao lost decisively but no other party won enough seats to form a government. When the United Front (a conglomeration of non-Congress and non-BJP regional parties) decided to form the Government at the Centre with the support of the Congress, Deve Gowda was unexpectedly chosen to head the government and became the 11th Prime Minister of India. He took over as Prime Minister of India on 1 June 1996 and continued until 11 April 1997. Also, he was the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the United Front, the policy making apex body of all the constituents of the ruling front.
Shri H.D Devegowda contributed a lot to the Prime Ministerial role concept in India. He is from Karnataka. Even when he became PM, he did not sound or look like a PM, he was all along in the Chief Ministerial mold. He used to think for Karnataka only. While in the top job, he was on the look out for consolidating , furthering the causes of Karnataka, and left all the work relating to over all national policies etc to others. GATTAPRABHA III and KARANJI are two neeravari project that met with success when he was the Prime Minister. The dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over river water sharing , was dominated by Karnataka, when he was PM. The chronic power shortage then faced by Karnataka was well addressed during his tenure.From June 1996 to june 1997 when Mr HD DeveGowda was prime minister he realized the situation of the farmers and he permitted to start new sugar factories in Tumkur,Bellary , Belgam,bijapur ,Hassan ,Darward,Shimoga,Bangalore,Mysore for about 20 new factories was sanctioned.
In fact as he knew well, he was not PM for a full term, considering the political configuration, he knew, he would have to go back to Karnataka and rule in default there . So, he had no time for other issues facing a Prime Minister and a kind of liberal attitude in line with federal structure of our country and constitution . He used to sleep when Karnataka was not a stake holder.
Devegowda in his limited and coalition of parties did bring up :
33% woman reservation,
Delhi metro is because of his efforts ,
he was the first to travel ,analyse issues in NE states and to combine let giving development packages to the region,
he was the PM to go to China and better relations between China and our country,
he took in confidence political powers of Kashmir and first in 9 years organised fair elections ,till date that election in Kashmir sees highest voter turn out with peaceful elections,
He was first PM to go Davos for economic improvement talking with Bill gates and others to bring in business to our country and went on to make IT development making India silicon Hub and software exporter,
farmers of Punjab,Bihar ,UP etc remember him for his pro farmer works ,his contribution was so great that even Farmers of Punjab named grain in his name.
He was one to think of connecting East south north west roadways which later developed as Golden quadrilateral by successive governments!
When world Bank denied loans to country he stood up to collect investment and was one to pay back earlier loans of country.
When today’s governments cry saying it’s been only few years in government to deliver, here PM Devegowda was able to do all above works in few months despite having opposing finance minister Chidambaram and with coalition team!
some great contribution of H.D DEVEGOWDA –
- He had promised that he is committed to the ‘words’ and ‘scheduled â€˜with regard to the full utilization of Karnataka’s right over Krishna river water and he did keep up its promise. The then government spent Rs.1435 crores over this project and retained the State’s right on Krishna water. He exhibited its strong ‘political will’ in fighting back the political plot of Tamilnadu and central Governments as regards Cauvery waters. He as a Chief Minister played his part well in avoiding the permanent harm that would have been caused by the order of the Supreme Court, by allowing Cauvery water into the Tamilnadu in a plausible manner and thus made the people of Cauvery basin to have a sigh of relief.
- He kept up his promise of reviving the ‘Green Card’ scheme which helps both the urban and rural people who are below the poverty line to get the ration at the cheaper price. He issued Green Card to 65 lakh families. The poor got rice at Rs. 3.25 perk.g.
- He had promised of bringing pressure on the centre for framing a National Agro Policy. Knowing the indifferent attitude of the Congress towards the farmers. He brought forth its own agricultural policy.
- He was responsible for shifting HAL airport from Bengaluru to Devanahalli. resulting is ,a single bengaluru airport without facing any congestion can handle all international air flight with single route.
- He Negotiated farakka water issue with Bangla PM the result was positive and agreement was in favour of india side.