Bengaluru: The leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Basavaraj Bommai, took the oath on Wednesday at a ceremony in the Raj Bhavan as the 23rd
Bommai, the son of former chief minister SR Bommai and former interior minister, was named CM by the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday, one day after four-time CM BS Yediyurappa resigned after months of dissidence. The 61-year-old Bommai, a Lingayat leader, is considered close to his predecessor.
When asked about the perception that he was a deputy prime minister of Yediyurappa, Bommai said, “I have a simple answer to this question. I’m not a Stamp CM, and I’ll prove it by getting people to agree to my plans. ”
Shortly after taking the oath, Bommai thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his good wishes and said he would continue the good work of the former BS Yediyurappa-led state government.
“Thank you Prime Minister @narendramodi ji for your kind wishes. I will definitely continue the good work of the state government under the competent leadership of @BSYBJP. We will work as a team for the development of the state and the nation according to the guidelines of all our senior leaders, ”Bommai tweeted.
Modi had previously congratulated Bommai and praised his predecessor Yediyurappa for his “monumental contribution” to the growth of the BJP and the state.
“Congratulations to Shri @BSBommai Ji on taking the oath as CM of Karnataka. He has extensive legislative and administrative experience. I am confident that it will build on the extraordinary work our government has done in the state. Best wishes for a fruitful term in office, ”he tweeted.
Explaining his testimony Tuesday that he would consult Yediyurappa on decisions, Bommai said, “When I said that I will consult Yediyurappa on my decisions, I meant that the former CM had effectively tackled the Covid-19 pandemic, though he due to the financial constraints due to the pandemic. He made several good plans and made an efficient administration. These experiences are important and that is what I meant, to seek his guidance for the new cabinet to take further steps. ”
He added that there are no two centers of power in Karnataka. “In our constitutional structure there are certain bodies that are mandated. As prime minister of the state, you are first among equals. Even the cabinet has its own constitutional power. As a CM, it’s my job to take everyone with me as a team. I can only say that we will work as a team and that the strength lies with the team. ”
Highlighting his immediate priorities, Bommai said he would visit flooded Karwar in Uttara Kannada district on Thursday and wait for PMModi’s appointment to visit Delhi, where he will also include Interior Minister Amit Shah, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and ath BJP National President JP Nadda. He said afterwards he would discuss the expansion of the cabinet with the heads of state and government.
On his first day as CM, Bommai announced several policy decisions. Speaking to reporters after chairing his first cabinet meeting, Bommaiai said ₹1,000 crore will be allocated to the scholarship program, which aims to encourage farmers’ children to pursue a higher education. The cabinet also decided to increase pensions under various schemes, he added.
The pension under the Sandhya Suraksha system (old age pension) is increased by ₹1,000 to ₹1,200, from which 3.6 million residents benefit. The monthly widow’s pension is increased by ₹600 tons ₹800 with 1.7 million beneficiaries and disability pension (40-75% disability) ₹600 tons ₹800, aiming to help 400,000 residents.
Bommai said he will hold a meeting with senior government officials shortly to take stock of the administration. Regarding the formation of the cabinet, he said he had met with observers from the party’s high command. “I met Dharmendra Pradhan and Arun Singh this morning. You told me that today (Wednesday) there is no need for a (cabinet-building) meeting. We’ll make a decision after they’re gone, ”said Bommai.
“We won’t need a lot of time. For all the work that needs to be done, we need a full team (of ministers). So we will do it at the earliest (cabinet formation), ”he added.
The prime minister, who also held a meeting with other chief secretaries and chief secretaries from various departments on Wednesday, said officials had a fuller picture of his government’s direction. He added that the government will focus on maintaining fiscal discipline through efficient use of resources and reducing spending amid a pandemic.
Emphasizing cross-departmental collaboration, Bommai said that all departments had been given 15 days to resolve any pending files, adding that he wanted to eliminate the “Chalta Hai” (relaxed) attitude among officials. A ranking system is being put in place to encourage departments to perform well, he said, adding, “I have told officials that the new administration will be realigned.”
Bommai was interior minister in the Yediyurappa Council of Ministers, which was dissolved on Monday after the 78-year-old leader resigned. Bommai is considered a close confidante of the former Prime Minister Yediyurappa.
Basavaraj, son of former Prime Minister SR Bommai, began his political career at Janata Dal and worked with high-ranking leaders such as HD Devegowda and Ramakrishna Hegde. He left Janata Dal (United) and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in February 2008.
The selection of Bommai, who is from the Lingayat community, comes after several Lingayat mutt popes in the state warned BJP Central Command not to remove Yediyurappa, a major community leader. The Lingayat community makes up nearly 16% of the state’s population and has been a loyal voter base for the BJP. Although there has been speculation that the BJP might appoint a leader from another community, it eventually focused on the Lingayat leader.