Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday took oath as the Chief Minister of Karnataka at the Glass House in the Raj Bhavan. Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot administered him the oath of office and secrecy.
With this, Bommai, a Yediyurappa loyalist, who has his origins in the Janata Parivar, scripted history in being part of a father-son duo to have led the state on different occasions. Previously JDS Supremo H D Deve Gowda and his son Kumaraswamy have been CMs during different periods. Bommai's father S R Bommai was a Janata Parivar stalwart and had served as the 11th Chief Minister of Karnataka.
The 61-year-old leader was the Minister for Home Affairs, Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Legislature in Yediyurappa's council of ministers that was dissolved on Monday and was also the Minister-in-charge of Haveri and Udupi Districts.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Bommai on taking oath as the CM. "Congratulations to Shri @BSBommai Ji on taking oath as Karnataka’s CM. He brings with him rich legislative and administrative experience. I am confident he will build on the exceptional work done by our Government in the state. Best wishes for a fruitful tenure," he tweeted.
Born on January 28, 1960 in Hubballi, Basavaraj Bommai is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering. He worked in Tata Motors, Pune for three years and then became an industrial entrepreneur. His caste, educational qualification, administrative capacities and proximity to Yediyurappa and central leaders of the BJP is said to be the reasons for his choice for the post.
Bommai is from the dominant Veerashaiva-Lingayat community to which Yediyurappa also belongs. The community accounts for 16-17 per cent of the state's population and is counted as a key vote-base of BJP.
He started his political career with the Janata Dal, and was a member of the Karnataka Legislative Council, twice (in 1997 and 2003) from Dharwad local authorities constituency. He had also served as Political Secretary to Chief Minister J H Patel and as Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the council. Bommai quit the Janata Dal (United) and joined the BJP in February 2008 and in the assembly elections held later that year, was elected as MLA from Shiggaon constituency in Haveri district. He then went on to retain the seat in the 2013 and 2018 assembly polls.
Married to Chennamma, he has a son and a daughter. Bommai had served as Minister for Water Resources and Cooperation in the previous BJP government. Widely appreciated for his knowledge regarding irrigation projects in the state, Bommai was like Yediyurappa's shadow in the just-dissolved BJP government, as he used to follow the 78-year-old Chief Minister at meetings, events and press briefings and assist him.