Bangalore North Congress candidate Krishna Byre Gowda: “We pushed for suburban rail and metro, not just elevated corridor”

Krishna Byre Gowda, Karnataka's Rural Development Minister, is the Congress candidate from Bangalore North constituency. In this interview with Citizen Matters, Gowda talks about Congress's poll promises such as NYAY, his plans to deal with water scarcity, and more

Krishna Byre Gowda, Karnakata’s Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR), is the Congress candidate from Bangalore North parliamentary constituency.

Gowda, a second-generation politician, was first elected to the state Assembly in 2003, and was one of its youngest members at the age of 30. He was elected from Vemagal, which had fallen vacant after the death of his father Byre Gowda, a five-time MLA from the constituency.

Gowda joined the Congress in 2004, and won the constituency again. In 2007, he was elected the President of the Karnataka Youth Congress Committee. In 2008, he contested and won from Byatarayanapura assembly constituency in Bengaluru. He contested the parliamentary election from Bangalore South in 2009 at the behest of Rahul Gandhi, but lost to the sitting MP Ananth Kumar.

Gowda comes from a family of agriculturists and has held independent charge of the Ministry of Agriculture. During 2013-18 he served as the Agriculture Minister in the Siddaramaiah cabinet (his father was the Agriculture Minister in the J H Patel cabinet). He steadily pushed for millet farming since its decline after the green revolution, rebranding it as a superfood. The International Millet and Organic Trade Fair 2018 was his brain child.

After the 2018 Karnataka Assembly election, the JDS-Congress coalition government came in power and Gowda took charge as RDPR Minister.

Interview with Citizen Matters

In this interview with Citizen Matters, Gowda talks about Congress’s poll promises such as NYAY, his plans to deal with water scarcity, having an elected Mayor for Bengaluru, and so on.

Profile

  • Age: 46 years
  • Education: BBM, Christ College, 1994; MA (International Affairs), American University, 1999
  • Background: Son of late Byre Gowa, a five-time MLA from Vemagal
  • Facebook: krishnabyregowda.official
  • Twitter: @krishnabgowda
  • Email: office@krishnabyregowda.in
  • Phone: 9448277977
  • Pending criminal cases: None

Assets and liabilities

Year Assets Liabilities
Lok Sabha 2019 Rs 13.25 Cr

(Movable assets: Rs 3.04 cr

Immovable assets: Rs 10.21 cr)

Rs 1.56 Cr
Karnataka 2018 Rs 12.48 Cr Rs 1.72 Cr
Karnataka 2013 Rs 6.27 Cr Rs 0.74 Cr
Lok Sabha 2009 Rs 3.08 Cr Rs 0.99 cr

Affidavit: https://suvidha.eci.gov.in/uploads/affidavit/2019/PC/S10/24/S1020190326023626.pdf

Other links:

In the news

June 12, 2018: Gowda said that the drastic reduction in the allocation of funds by the Centre for drinking water projects had burdened the exchequer. He conceded that corruption was prevalent at all levels of administration. He said the quality of administration had deteriorated drastically over the last two decades, and that it was difficult to remain sincere and non-corrupt in the current administrative setup.

April 9, 2018: Gowda said he was willing to engage the centre on the problem of tax devolution to states, but if it was not willing, he had no option but to take the issue to the people.

February 21, 2018: During assembly session, Gowda said the University of Agricultural Sciences had flouted the rules of admission by recruiting for far more positions than was permitted by government.

February 9, 2018: When Jagadish Shettar, leader of opposition in assembly, questioned the Congress on the Rs 50 crore scam in KSBADA, Gowda disputed the charges of corruption and asked Modi to come clean on the price of Rafale jets.

Jan 17, 2018: As Agriculture Minister, Gowda was trying to provide a conducive environment for startups that would help increase the productivity of farmers. The government was contemplating starting a centre for excellence at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, to help create technology to disseminate data to farmers.

November 18, 2016: Gowda promoted millets as a healthy dietary ingredient in drought-hit Karnataka to help farmers sustain their livelihood. He spoke about creating demand for millets to withstand climate change, at a media workshop.

November 16, 2017: As a representative of the state on the GST council, Gowda was batting for more items to come under the below 18 percent slab, saying it would benefit the poor.

October 24, 2017: Karnataka government, along with the central government, sent a proposal to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to announce an international year of millets, to promote its benefits.

July 11, 2016: Gowda emphasised the need to introduce mechanized farming to boost paddy cultivation, at an event in Udupi district. This would bring down the cost of labour and increase profit, he added.

[Meera K contributed to this article]

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