Shettar, Ashok, Reddy brothers conspicuous by their absence

Bharatiya Janata Party leader D.V. Sadananda Gowda was on Thursday sworn in as the 26th Chief Minister of Karnataka at the Glass House of the Raj Bhavan by Governor H.R. Bhardwaj. Mr. Gowda took the oath in Kannada and in the name of God.

The celebrations were in keeping with the occasion, though the fissures within the party came to fore with a large contingent of MLAs from the Jagadish Shettar faction not attending the function. Mr. Gowda is the second leader from the coastal region to become Chief Minister after M. Veerappa Moily.

On arrival, Mr. Gowda was greeted by the former Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa, and his supporters, who occupied the first row. Mr. Yeddyurappa had backed Mr. Gowda for the post. Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath was present.

Mr. Shettar, who was an aspirant for the post, several MLAs, and some former Ministers such as R. Ashok and the Reddy brothers from Bellary, were absent.

The BJP general secretary and Bangalore South MP, Ananthkumar, and State unit BJP president K.S. Eshwarappa were present.

After the ceremony, Mr. Ananthkumar garlanded Mr. Gowda while Mr. Yeddyurappa, who was in a jovial and victorious mood and kept flashing the victory sign, felicitated him with a garland and Mysore peta.

Datti Sadananda Gowda, wife of the Chief Minister, said she was thrilled to see her husband take oath as Chief Minister.

More than 1,000 people from Sullia and Puttur from the Udupi district came in buses and private vehicles to witness the event. Mr. Gowda was elected to the Lok Sabha from Udupi Chikmagalur.

Party workers burst crackers outside the Raj Bhavan in violation of security norms.

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