Basavaraj S. Bommai took oath as 30th Karnataka Chief Minister at 11 a.m. in the Raj Bhawan on Wednesday, after visiting the Anjaneya Temple near the Balabruyi guest house along with some leaders and sought the blessings of the divine.
Hailing from socialist philosophy and now adhering to BJP principles, Bommai's political journey marked a new milestone as he took oath as the 23rd Chief Minister, though he is sworn in as 30th chief minister of Karnataka, since many chief ministers had been sworn in multiple times.
Hundreds of people thronged outside Raj Bhavan and cheered for him. The police and security personnel had a tough time in controlling the crowd, while Basavaraj Bommai entered Raj Bhavan. Bommai's family members were at the Raj Bhavan before Bommai reached to witness the celebration.
The swearing in ceremony was attended by the Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Kishan Reddy, appointed as observers by the BJP parliamentary board, outgoing chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa, all top leaders of the state. Barring senior Congress leader R.V. Deshpande, opposition leaders remained absent.
Bommai, a mechanical engineer, became the third chief minister from Mumbai- Karnataka region after his father S.R. Bommai and Jagadish Shettar. He attained prominence after the 300 kilometer long Padayatra between Kalasa and Nargund demanding implementation of Kalasa-Banduri project. He was also closely connected with former union minister George Fernandes.
Yediurappa had even chided Basavaraj Bommai in front of the media that he should not show his face to him for not joining his new party KJP. Later, when Yediyurappa returned to BJP, Basavaraj Bomai became his favorite and earned respect by helping him to sail through poignant attacks by the opposition leaders in the legislative assembly.
Born on January 28, 1960 to Karnataka Janata Dal leader and later state chief minister S.R. Bommai, Basavaraj graduated in mechanical engineering and started his political career with the Janata Dal.
He was elected to the Legislative Council in 1998 and continued as an MLC for terms until 2008, when he was elected as an MLA from Shiggaon, Haveri district. Bommai belongs to the Sadra Lingayat community and seen as a prominent Lingayat figure in BJP after Yedyurappa.
A three-time MLA from the same constituency, he was made the Minister for Water Resources and Cooperation between 2008 to 2013, during the third Yediyurappa ministry and again became minister of Home Affairs, Law, Parliamentary Affairs in the fourth Yediyurappa ministry in 2019.
Bommai, who graduated from B.V. Bhoomaraddi College of Engineering and Technology (presently KLE Technological University), started his career with the Tata group and later as an agriculturist and industrialist in Haveri district when his father was a prominent state leader in Janata Dal.
He was known for his pioneering work in India's first 100% piped irrigation project at Shiggaon in Haveri district during this period. He left Janata Dal in 2008 to join BJP and is known to be a close aide of Yediyurappa ever since.
As home minister of Karnataka during the first Covid wave, he imposed stricter regulations and asked the police to stop unnecessary wanderers. All shops that deal with fruits, milk, groceries, vegetables, meat and fish are allowed to open for four hours in the morning.
During the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Karnataka, he made his residence at Shiggaon into a Covid Care Centre to accommodate up to 50 patients and appointed doctors and medical staff to take care of the patients along with oxygen concentrators, that has gone well with his elevation as state chief minister today.
(With additional inputs from IANS)