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Sadananda Gowda denies reports of split in Karnataka BJP

August 4, 2011 - Bangalore

The newly elected Karnataka Chief Minister, DV Sadananda Gowda, on Thursday denied rumours of split within the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

"There is no intention, you might have seen in the media, all the legislators will attend the swearing-in ceremony. And I hope that everything will go smooth in a political crisis. The responsibility of the leaders is so much that they should positively think of the matter," said Gowda, who will formally take over as Karnataka Chief Minister later in the day.

Former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa backed BJP MLA will be administered oath of office by Governor HR Bhardwaj at 4.30 p.m.

Gowda was elected soon after Bhardwaj gave the go-ahead for Yeddyurappa's prosecution. A secret ballot was called to choose the BJP legislature party leader after the central leaders' efforts to find a consensus candidate failed.

Gowda, expected to serve out the remaining 22 months of the BJP's first government in the south, got 65 votes.

Fifty-eight year-old Gowda is an MP from Udupi Chikmagalur. He has been BJP state president and a non-controversial one - a considerable feat in a unit that has several power centres.

Gowda has also been an MLA and deputy leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly.

He was the State President of the BJP in Karnataka and was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2004 and 2009.

His challenger, rural development minister Jagadish Shettar - propped up by the rival camp led by party general secretary HN Ananth Kumar - fell short by 12 votes.

Meanwhile, R. Ashok, a legislator from the Padmanabhanagar assembly constituency said: "We got together to try and get a majority to make Jagadish Shettar as Chief Minister. But for various reasons, he lost the election. With that in mind, we decided to call a meeting for in depth consultations. There is no separatist agenda."

Yeddyurappa resigned from his post on Sunday after being indicted in Lokayukta Justice (retired) N. Santosh Hedge's report on illegal mining.


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