The rebel BJP faction in Karnataka headed by Jagadish Shettar today boycotted the swearing-in ceremony of new Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, again bringing into sharp focus the deep division in the ruling party.

However, Ananth Kumar and the party’s state unit chief K.S. Eshwarappa, the two leaders who propped up Mr. Shettar against Mr. Gowda, who is outgoing chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s choice, were present in the Raj Bhavan.

Earlier Mr. Gowda drove to Mr. Shettar’s residence, where MLAs backing him were having breakfast, and invited them to attend the swearing-ceremony at Raj Bhavan. However, the legislators boycotted the event.

In sharp contrast, Mr. Yeddyurappa’s camp was jubilant as he appeared relaxed and shared some light moments with MLAs supporting him and repeatedly flashed the “victory” sign.

Mr. Gowda had defeated Mr. Shettar in a secret ballot at the Legislature party meeting on Wednesday.