Basavaraj Bommai sworn in as India’s Karnataka chief minister
Basavaraj Bommai was sworn in as India’s Karnataka chief minister on Wednesday, July 28. In the ceremony held at the glasshouse of state Raj Bhavan, Bommai took the oath from governor Thawar Chand Gehlot at 11am. Bommai is the 23rd chief minister of Karnataka. He was appointed for the post on Tuesday by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) high command as the Legislative Party Leader, a day after BS Yediyurappa turned in his papers.
Talking to reporters before the swearing-in, Bommai said he will soon hold a meeting with the senior officials in the government to take stock of the administration. On Cabinet formation, he said he met the observers from the party’s high command. “I met Dharmendra Pradhan and Arun Singh this morning. They have told me there is no need for any meeting (on Cabinet formation) today. We will take a decision after they leave,” said Bommai.
“We won’t take much time. For all the work that needs to be completed, we need a full team (of ministers). So we will do it (Cabinet formation) at the earliest,” he added.
Bommai was the home minister in Yediyurappa’s council of ministers, which was dissolved following the 78-year-old leader’s resignation as chief minister on Monday. He is considered a close confidant of Yediyurappa.
Son of former chief minister S R Bommai, Basavaraj Bommai started his political career with the Janata Dal and worked with senior leaders including H D Devegowda and Ramakrishna Hegde. He left the Janata Dal (United) and joined the BJP in February 2008.
A graduate in mechanical engineering, he was elected as a member of the Karnataka legislative council in 1998 and 2004 from Dharwad. He was thrice elected to Karnataka legislative assembly from the Shiggaon constituency in Haveri district in 2008, 2013 and 2018.
The selection of Bommai, who is from the Lingayat community, comes after several pontiffs from Lingayat mutts in the state warned the BJP central command against removing Yediyurappa, a tall leader of the Lingayat community. The community forms close to 16% of the state’s population and they have been a loyal vote base for the saffron party. Even though there were speculations that the BJP may appoint a leader from a different community, it eventually zeroed down on the Lingayat leader.
Yediyurappa’s resignation on Monday ended months of speculation following growing dissidence within the Karnataka unit of the BJP. The 78-year-old leader made the announcement in an emotional speech at an event celebrating two years in power before submitting his resignation to the governor.