Karnataka gets first BJP-led government in the south
BANGALORE: Sixty-four-year-old Bharatiya Janata Party leader Bookanakere Siddalingappa Yeddyurappa took oath as Karnataka Chief Minister in the name of God and farmers at a grand ceremony here on Monday. Four other legislators — R. Ashok, Jagadish Shettar, V.S. Acharya and Govind Karjol — also took oath as Cabinet Ministers in the first-ever BJP-led government in the south. The oath of office and secrecy was administered by Governor Rameshwar Thakur.
The swearing-in ceremony, held in front of the Vidhana Soudha, turned out to be an all-BJP affair with none of the representatives from the coalition partner Janata Dal (Secular) taking oath. The JD (S) is learnt to have decided to have a separate ceremony for its legislators after the government is allowed to test its majority on the floor of the House.
JD(S) national president H.D. Deve Gowda was not present. The only JD(S) representatives were the former Chief Minister, H. D. Kumaraswamy, and party State president Merajuddin Patel.
The new Cabinet, which met after the ceremony, decided to request the Governor to convene a legislature session on November 23 to facilitate the floor test.
Development the motto
Addressing his maiden press conference, the Chief Minister said “Development is the motto” of the government, which would abide by the promises made in the common minimum programme and strive for total implementation of welfare schemes.
Friendly ties with Centre
The government would maintain friendly and constructive relations with the Centre, the Chief Minister said. He would soon meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Cabinet Ministers and seek an immediate release of Rs. 1,000 crore for undertaking relief measures in the flood-affected areas of the State. He promised to provide security for the minorities and the underprivileged and hoped to draw them into the “mainstream of development.”
The central BJP leaders who watched the ceremony from a specially constructed podium included Rajnath Singh, L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Prakash Javdekar. BJP Chief Ministers Narendra Modi, Raman Singh and Shivaraj Singh Chauhan were present. A large number of party workers attended the ceremony.