Haradanahalli Dodde Deve Gowda was born on 18 May 1933 in Haradanahalli, Karnataka. He is from the Hassan district in the state of Karnataka. He joined the Congress Party in 1953 and remained in this party until 1962 . He then contested elections as an independent candidate and was elected to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in 1962. He was elected for the next three terms from the Holenarsipur constituency. From 1972 to 1976 and again from November 1976 to 1977, he was the leader of the opposition party in the legislative assembly. At first an independent, then a member of the Congress party, he joined the wing that was opposed to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's faction when the group split (1969). In 1975 he was jailed for 18 months when he opposed Gandhi's state of emergency.
In the late 1970s Deve Gowda rose in the Janata party and was an important figure in reuniting its successor, the Janata Dal party, after the original group splintered in 1980. He was chief minister of the state of Karnataka from 1994 to 1996. When the Congress party was savaged in the 1996 general elections and Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao resigned, Deve Gowda became prime minister of a United Front coalition government. He became the 11th Prime Minister India on June 1, 1996. He held the post until April 21, 1997. He is now the president of the Janata Dal (S) (JD-S) political party and member of Parliament (MP) for the Hassan district in Karnataka . The JD-S is currently in a coalition with the Congress party government lead by Dharam Singh.