Jagadish Shettar has been officially sworn in as Karnataka’s chief minister, becoming the third Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader to head the state government in four years.
Governor HR Bhardwaj administered the oath of office and secrecy to Shettar at a simple ceremony in the glass house of Raj Bhavan in Bangalore.
State unit BJP president K S Eshwarappa and R Ashoka, who was a member of the DV Sadananda Gowda cabinet, were sworn in as Deputy Chief Ministers by Governor HR Bhardwaj, who administered the oath of office to the new ministers at a ceremony at the Raj Bhavan.
Shettar, 56, took over from DV Sadananda Gowda, who was forced out of office without completing a year following months of dissidence orchestrated by the BJP’s first chief minister in southern India, BS Yeddyurappa. Yeddyurappa was shown the door by the party last July after he was implicated in a series of charges of bribery and the illegal granting of mining licenses.
Karnataka’s new chief minister hails from a family with close association to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the BJP’s predecessor Jan Sangh.
Shettar is a four-time legislator representing Hubli rural constituency in Dharwad district, about 400 km north of Bangalore.
However his very first day as the new Chief Minister was marred, after a complaint was lodged against him in connection with a land deal row last evening.
Shettar is accused of illegally freeing 178 acres of land in the Bangalore outskirts from government control six years ago when he was revenue minister in the Janata Dal-Secular-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition government.
56-year-old Shettar has retained all members of the Gowda ministry. All the ministers have been given Cabinet rank.
Those sworn-in as ministers are: Govind M Karjol, S Suresh Kumar, CM Udasi, Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri, Umesh V Katti, Basavaraja Bommai, Murugesh R Nirani, V Somanna, Shobha Karandlaje,B N Bache Gowda, M P Renukacharya, C P Yogeeshwara, S A Ravindranatha, Revu Naik Belamagi, Balachandra Jarkiholi, SA Ramadass, Anand Asnotikar, A Narayanaswamy, Raju Gowda alias Narasimha Nayak and Varthur Prakash.
The new faces in the ministry are: Sogadu Shivanna, C T Ravi, D N Jeevaraja, S K Bellubbi, Aravind Limbavali, BJ Puttaswamy, Anand Singh, Kalakappa Gurushantappa Bandi, Sunil Vallyapure, Kota Srinivasa Poojari and Appachu Ranjan.
Sadananda Gowda, former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa and party General Secretary Anant Kumar were present during the function.