Bommai sworn in as Karnataka chief minister
Basavaraj Bommai, 61, was sworn in as Karnataka chief minister on Wednesday a day after he was named as BS Yediyurappa’s successor at a ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s legislative party meeting.Yediyurappa’s, 78, announced his resignation at an event to commemorate two years of his government this week.
Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot administered Bommai oath as the 23rd chief minister of Karnataka at a ceremony at the glasshouse of the state Raj Bhavan.
Bommai told reporters he has met the central observers of the BJP, Dharmendra Pradhan and Arun Singh, who were here from the legislative party meeting, over the Cabinet formation. “They have told me there is no need for any meeting (on Cabinet formation) today (Wednesday). We will make a decision after they leave,” said Bommai. He added they would not 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.”
Bommai was the home minister in Yediyurappa’s council of ministers. The council was dissolved after Yediyurappa’s resignation on Monday.
Considered to be a close confidant of Yediyurappa, Bommai is son of former chief minister S R Bommai.
Basavaraj Bommai started his political career with the Janata Dal and worked with 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 has been 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 community. The community forms close to 16% of the state’s population and has have been a loyal vote base for the party. Even though there was speculation that the BJP may appoint a leader from a different community, it eventually chose a 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.