Special Correspondent

29 Ministers also part of first BJP government in south India

Bangalore: Bharatiya Janata Party leader B.S. Yeddyurappa was on Friday sworn in the 19th Chief Minister of Karnataka before a massive crowd of jubilant supporters.

Many top leaders of the party, such as national president Rajnath Singh, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L.K. Advani and Chief Ministers of several BJP-ruled States including Narendra Modi of Gujarat, were present to witness the historic occasion of the BJP forming a government on its own in south India.

Mr. Yeddyurappa, after a quick visit to several temples and religious institutions just before the swearing-in ceremony, took the oath in the name of farmers and God. He was attired in trademark white, and a green woollen shawl was draped around his shoulders. Governor Rameshwar Thakur, who presided over the administration of the State for the past six months, administered the oath of office and secrecy to the Chief Minister and 29 other Ministers. Among them were five of the six independent candidates who helped the 110-member BJP group cross the halfway mark of 113 by a slender margin. The Ministers were administered the oath in front of the Vidhana Soudha in groups of three.

The BJP government has to prove its majority on the floor the Legislative Assembly within eight days. The State Cabinet has recommended that a session of the legislature be convened on June 4.

Notable among those who have not been accommodated in the Ministry are the former State BJP president and Minister Jagadish Shettar and the former Minister D.H. Shankaramurthy. While Mr. Shettar reportedly turned down the offer to be the Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. Shankaramurthy was not considered because three others in the Cabinet, including the Chief Minister, are from Shimoga district.

The new Ministers are Govind M. Karjol, K.S. Eshwarappa, V.S. Acharya, Mumtaz Ali Khan, C.M. Udasi, R. Ramachandra Gowda, R. Ashok, S.A. Ravindranath, G. Janardhan Reddy, Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri, B.N. Bacche Gowda, G. Karunakar Reddy, Basavaraj Bommai, Shobha Karandlaje, B. Sriramulu, S. Suresh Kumar, Krishna Palemar, Revu Naik Belamagi, Aravind Limbavali, Krishnaiah Shetty, P.M. Narendra Swamy, H. Halappa, Venkataramanappa, D. Sudhakar, Goolihatti D. Shekar, Shivaraj Tangadagi, M. Rudrappa Nirani, Lakshman Savadi and S.K. Bellubbi.

Mr. Yeddyurappa heads the 26th Government in the State.

He also headed the 25th Government, a coalition with the Janata Dal (Secular), for a week before the JD(S) withdrew support.