J.H.PATEL

 79th birth anniversary

Jayadevappa Halappa Patel (October 1, 1930December     12, 2000) was the 15th chief minister of Karnataka. He was born in a Lingayat family on October 1, 1930 in Kariganur, now in Davanagere district,Karnataka. Patel was a Graduate in Law. He married Sarvamangala and had three sons Trishul, Satish and Mahima.

== Career ==

J.H. Patel was a rare politician known for his wit and sarcasm. He participated in the freedom struggle in 1947 and was imprisoned. He also served jail terms for participating in [[Kagodu]] [[Satyagraha]] and during the Emergency.

He was elected to Lok Sabha from [[Shimoga]] constituency in 1967, and was the first Kannadiga to table his debates in [[Kannada]]. J.H. Patel created history in Lok Sabha in 1967 when he dared to speak in his mother tongue [[Kannada]] in the house. The speaker of Lok Sabha, Sanjeev Reddy allowed and encouraged Patel to go ahead with his speech. The house heard him with rapt attention. The Indian parliament had been active for 17 years and patel became the first member to speak in a regional Indian language. He did so in vindication of the eighth schedule of our constitution in which all the great languages of India have been given a pride of Place. This prompted the speaker of Lok Sabha, Sanjeev Reddy to decree in his famous ruling that henceforth any member of the Lok Sabha who is inclined to exercise his/her inherent right to speak in his/her mother tongue would do so without any hindrance.

Patel was elected to the Legislative Assembly from Channagiri constituency in 1978. He was elected for the second term in 1983, and served as a cabinet minister under Ramakrishna Hegde. Patel also served as a minister in S R Bommai government, and became the deputy chief minister in 1994 when the Janata Dal returned to power under the chief ministership of H D Deve Gowda. He succeeded Gowda in 1996 following the latter's elevation to the post of prime minister. He is the first Chief minister of Karnataka who was never a member of the Indian national Congress. Patel's political acumen came to fore when he had to face stiff dissidence from Janta Dal partymen during 1998. When party affairs took a turn for the worse, Patel stunned every one including his detractors by recommending dissolution of the state assembly, six months ahead of the assembly polls in 1999.

J.H. Patel was a great orator and witty leader ,an astute politician, acclaimed parliamentarian and staunch socialist.

A nonchalant leader, Patel endeared himself to his political adversaries by his affectionate and friendly attitude.

A witty Patel was in the eye of storm for revelations on his personal lifestyle. His public announcements when he was the Karnataka chief minister that he adored lord Krishna, loved wine and women, kicked off a heated debate.

A deft handler of any situation, Patel had the capability to withstand criticism and was endowed with abundant patience to dismiss them cheerfully.

The socialist leader and an ardent follower Ram Manohar Lohia, Patel's oratory skills left his mark on many.

He remained a non-Congress leader throughout his life and was the president of the Karnataka unit of the Janata Dal.

Patel witnessed a turbulent political days following the split in the Janata Dal, the JD (united) in which he remained and the JD (secular), led by Deve Gowda.In his last election a young candidate Vadnal Rajanna defeated him.

He died at the Manipal Hospital, Bangalore on [[December 12]], [[2000]] at 2:30 am. Patel, was buried with State honours at his native village, Kariganur. In the last few months, Mr. Patel had been making efforts for the merger of the two Janata Dal factions -

the JD (United) and the JD (Secular) headed by Mr. Gowda - and that was one of his unfulfilled missions.