The man with the 1,000-watt smile, as the local media call DV Sadananda Gowda, tried to lighten up his grim, grumpy party after taking over as Karnataka’s 26th CM on Thursday.
“I have been smiling for the last 50 years,” said Gowda (58) during an impromptu press conference at his office. “A smile, trust and confidence matter. I don’t think I will stop smiling for the next two years.”
The former public prosecutor made every conciliatory gesture that he could, an hour after he made public his loyalty to former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa clear by touching his feet.
He promised to “carry every party member”, provide a clean, efficient government and denied anything was amiss between him and rural development minister Jagdish Shettar, the man he defeated on Wednesday in the race for chief ministership.
After he took oath, Gowda made it a point to first accept bouquets of pink roses from Shettar’s associates, BJP national general secretary Ananth Kumar and state president KS Eshwarappa.
“You have showed in your media (sic), Sadananda Gowda and Jagdish Shettar smiling together, so we are together,” he told reporters during the press conference, where his smile never stopped, except for a moment when he was asked if he would make way for mentor Yeddyurappa in six months.
On how his government would react to the clearance given by the governor for Yeddyurappa’s prosecution, Gowda said: “The law will take its own course.”
In keeping with his image as someone who likes to please everyone, Gowda even answered a question in rudimentary Malayalam to a Kerala reporter, noting that his constituency bordered Kerala.