Gowda stakes claim to form government in Karnataka

August 3rd, 2011 - 7:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bangalore, Aug 3 (IANS) D.V. Sadananda Gowda Wednesday staked claim to form the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) second government in Karnataka following his election as the legislative party leader in a secret ballot vote.

The 58-year-old Gowda met Governor H.R. Bhardwaj at Raj Bhavan and staked claim to form the government with a supporting letter that declared him as the party’s newly elected leader in the state legislative assembly.

Accompanied by party’s central observer Rajnath Singh and state unit president K.S. Eshwarappa, Gowda drove to Raj Bhavan from a nearby star-hotel where the BJP’s members of the state legislative assembly met for the election.

Gowda’s election was marked by jubilant celebrations and bursting of crackers outside the venue in the city centre by the party’s boisterous cadres and hundreds of supporters, leading to traffic snarls and chaos on cross-roads on a cloudy and breezy day.

“The date and time of taking oath of office will be decided soon in consultation with party’s leaders at the central and state level. The governor will be duly informed if Gowda only will be sworn-in or along with other legislators as his cabinet ministers,” a party source told IANS.

“I thank the party high command, all senior leaders and legislators for electing me and reposing confidence in me. I would like to give a good government with pro-development programmes for the benefit of the people across the state,” a beaming Gowda told reporters before going to Raj Bhavan.

Thanking former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and other state leaders for electing him, Gowda said the ruling party has already initiated several socio-economic and welfare schemes since it came to power in the state for the first time over three years ago (May 2008). “I will announce my action plan after assuming office,” Gowda said.

In a related development, contender for the top post Jagadish Shettar, who lost to Gowda in the secret ballot at the stormy legislature party meeting by a mere eight votes, said he would extend full cooperation to the chief minister-elect.

“I congratulate Gowda for being elected as the party’s legislative leader by our legislators and support the government to serve the people during the remaining 22 months of the tenure. I would also like to thank central observers, state leaders, legislators who voted for me and the people who wished me,” Shettar told media later.

As Gowda is the party’s Lok Sabha member from Udupi-Chickmaglur constituency, about 400 km from here, he has to get elected to the assembly or be nominated to the council within the next six months to continue as the chief minister.

Gowda, who hails from Dakshina Kannada in the coastal area, belongs to the politically influential Vokkaliga community in the state while Shettar, 56, is from the dominant Lingayat community as Yeddyurappa and Eshwarappa are.

Scam-hit B.S. Yeddyurappa resigned as the party’s first chief minister in south India Sunday following his indictment by the state’s anti-graft ombudsman (Lokayukta) in the multi-crore mining scam.

Gowda was backed by the Yeddyurappa faction since Sunday while Shettar was backed by the rival faction headed by the party’s Lok Sabha member from Bangalore South Ananth Kumar and the party’s state unit president K.S. Eshwarappa.

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