Indira Gandhi’s 1978 Comeback

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Image Source: The Wire

In November 1978, Indira Gandhi’s political career faced a turning point as she contested the Chikkamagaluru Lok Sabha by-election, aiming for a triumphant return after her defeat in Rae Bareli and ousting from office in the 1977 post-Emergency general elections. This electoral battle marked her political rebirth.

DB Chandre Gowda: The Local MP Who Paved the Way

DB Chandre Gowda, the local Member of Parliament (MP) from Chikkamagaluru, played a pivotal role in Indira’s victory. Not only did he graciously vacate his seat for her, but he also orchestrated her campaign, which involved a fierce competition against her arch-enemy, George Fernandes.

Translating Slogans for the Rural Masses

One of Gowda’s remarkable contributions was ensuring that Indira’s message reached the rural masses effectively. Recognizing that many local voters did not understand English or Hindi, he translated slogans, including the famous “Ek sherni sou langur Chikkamagaluru bhai Chikkamagaluru,” into Kannada, making Indira an overnight sensation as ‘Indiramma.’

Election Outcome and Political Transformations

Despite Gowda’s efforts, it’s worth noting that Indira’s victory margin was lower than what he had achieved in the previous general election two years earlier. Furthermore, in a twist of fate, Gowda would go on to change his political affiliations over the years, aligning with various parties such as the Janata Party and BJP.

DB Chandre Gowda’s Political Journey

DB Chandre Gowda was a multifaceted figure in Karnataka politics. He served in all four houses—the legislative assembly, council, Lok Sabha, and Rajya Sabha—and belonged to various political parties, including the Praja Socialist Party, Karnataka Kranti Ranga, Janata Dal, Congress, Janata Party, and BJP.

A Versatile Political Career

Gowda entered politics in 1971 and held the position of Lok Sabha MP thrice and Rajya Sabha once. He served as a Congress Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) and a minister in Devaraj Urs’ cabinet from 1978 to 1983. His political journey continued with affiliations with the Janata Party, Congress, and later BJP, where he won the Bengaluru North Lok Sabha seat.

A Respected Politician

Gowda’s influence extended to his roles as speaker of the legislative assembly from 1983 to 1985 and as a leader of the opposition in both the assembly and council. His extensive knowledge of literature and political acumen left a lasting impact on Karnataka politics.

A Loss to Karnataka Politics

Gowda’s passing is considered a significant loss to Karnataka politics, as he was a respected and versatile politician who carved his place in the state’s political landscape. His contributions and dynamic political career have left an indelible mark on the state’s political history.