Gowda woos Shettar faction before swearing-in

August 4th, 2011 - 4:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bangalore, Aug 4 (IANS) Hours before taking oath as the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) second chief minister in Karnataka, D.V. Sadananda Gowda Thursday met the party’s faction leader Jagadish Shettar to ensure smooth functioning of his government.

“Gowda drove to Shettar’s residence in the city and invited him and supporters present there to the oath-taking ceremony at Raj Bhavan in the evening. He also sought the cooperation of all legislators for the smooth running of the party’s second government in the state,” a party source told IANS.

Gowda was elected the BJP’s legislature party leader Wednesday through a secret ballot after the party’s central observers Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh failed to choose a consensus candidate from the faction-ridden party in the state.

Though the party did not officially declare by how many votes Gowda won over Shettar, a party official said the margin was narrow and the contest was close, with 118 of the 120 lawmakers voting in the three-hour long exercise.

Earlier in the day, the 58-year-old Gowda moved into the official residence, Anugraha, in the city centre from his rented house in upscale Malleshwaram suburb, as he came under VIP security after Governor H.R. Bhardwaj invited him to form the new government Wednesday.

In a related development, the party’s state unit president K.S. Eshwarappa said all the legislators have been invited to be present at Raj Bhavan for Gowda’s swearing-in ceremony.

“There are no differences or factions in the ruling party. It’s all a media creation. We have elected Gowda as legislature party leader by the most democratic process, which is rare in other parties, be they national or regional,” Eshwarappa told reporters.

Hectic parleys have been under way since morning among the party’s leaders for swearing-in of a couple of legislators as cabinet ministers after Gowda takes oath as chief minister. However, none from the Shettar faction is expected to be inducted Thursday.

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