Shri Deve Gowdaji holds a diploma degree in Civil Engineering. He made his foray into the politics at a young age of 20 soon after the completion of his studies. He began his political career by joining the national party Indian National Congress in 1953. He remained with the Congress party till 1962. He hails from a middle calls agrarian family. Since he knew the hardships that farmers of this country had to face, he throughout his political career fought for their rights and upliftment.
He was arguably a crusader for equality and freedom. He garnered the outrage of the people in power at the Centre during the emergency in 1975-76. He like many others was imprisoned during that period. Shri Deve Gowdaji made optimum us of this period by enriching his knowledge by exhaustive reading. He also got the opportunity to know and interact with the other stalwarts of national politics whom he met while imprisoned.
After serving as an MLA for a long period, he finally got elected to the Parliament from in 1991 from the Hassan constituency of Karnataka. He often raised the problems of his state and especially the farmers to the forefront. He possessed a great respect for his honest espousal of the poor condition of farmers, in the Parliament. He was also praised for upholding and practising the dignity and prestige of the Parliament and its other institutions.
Shri Deve Gowdaji became an automatic choice to be elected as the President of the Janta party and was subsequently made the President of Janta Dal in the year 1994. He was solely responsible for the rising popularity of Janata Dal in Karnataka and thus in 1994; he was made the Chief Minister of Karnataka.