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Running around for the sanction of a medical college in New Delhi and later trying to get Congress leader Rajiv Gandhi to come to Tumakuru to inaugurate it in 1989. If all these had not happened, 66-year-old G Parameshwara would not have stepped into politics.
The numerous trips to New Delhi to invite Rajiv is said to have caught the latter’s attention. “I used to accompany Congress leader Mallikarjun M Kharge, who was the college president, and my father. When I went for the third time to meet him, Rajiv enquired about my background and asked, ‘Why don’t you join us?’ He meant politics and I just nodded,” Parameshwara had told TOI in an interview.
Parameshwara, who was content as an administrative officer at Sri Siddhartha Education Society, did not expect to plunge into politics and neither did he think his growth in the party would be quick. He was KPCC general secretary and the same year was also given a ticket to contest from Madhugiri, a reserved constituency in Tumakuru, which he won.
On Wednesday, it was an emotional moment for Parameshwara when he became the first Dalit DyCM. Though from a well-to-do Dalit family, he faced discrimination because of his caste.
During his school days, students would visit houses nearby for water. Parameshwara would accompany them and they would be first asked about the family so as to identify their caste. When Parameshwara would mention his father’s name they would make him wait outside and pour water into his cupped hands, while his classmates would be allowed inside.
He lost the elections in 1994 by 800 votes. His next electoral defeat was in 2013, when he lost from Koratagere. The Dr against his name is a doctorate in agricultural sciences from Adelaide University.