Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday took charge as the new Chief Minister of Karnataka, ending months of speculation about the change of guard in the state.
The 61-year-old leader was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot at the Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru.
The Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party legislature party on Tuesday evening elected him as its new leader to succeed B S Yediyurappa.
Bommai, a Lingayat leader from North Karnataka, is a close confidant of Yediyurappa and, according to party sources, there is an imprint of the veteran BJP leader in this succession plan.
As Bommai took charge as the chief minister, ministerial aspirants began lobbying to secure a berth in the new cabinet.
Expanding the Ministry will be the first big challenge before the new Chief Minister, as he will have to navigate through the cabinet formation exercise by maintaining balance between factions within the ruling BJP in the state.
There are several aspirants among the party old guard, and legislators who had joined the BJP after quitting the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition in 2019.
Bommai, who alone took oath on Wednesday, said he will try to expand the Cabinet soon.
Soon after taking charge, Bommai chaired a single member cabinet meeting with Additional Chief Secretaries and principal secretaries of various departments.
The chief minister, who held a press conference later, assured an efficient, honest and people-friendly government, as he asserted that there will be no multiple power centres in his administration and rejected suggestions about him being likely a 'rubber stamp CM"'.
His statement came in response to a perception in some quarters about him as a rubber stamp Chief Minister, as he is a close confidant of his predecessor Yediyurappa.
The chief minister also announced a scholarship programme for farmers' children and an increase in pension for senior citizens, widows and disabled, under social security schemes.
He will be visiting the flood ravaged Uttara Kannada district on Thursday and will review the relief and rescue work there.
Son of former Chief Minister, late S R Bommai, Basavaraj was Minister for Home Affairs, Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Legislature in Yediyurappa's council of ministers which was dissolved on Monday.
It's the second instance of a father-son duo becoming chief minister of Karnataka, after H D Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy.
He is a three time MLA from Shiggaon constituency in Haveri district and has been MLC twice.
Bommai, who started his political career with the Janata Dal, was seen working as Yediyurappa's shadow in the just-dissolved BJP government, following him at meetings, events and press briefings, and assisting him.
Ending months of speculation over his exit, Yediyurappa on Monday stepped down as the chief minister, coinciding with his government completing two years in office.