Veteran BJP leader and formerunion minister Thaawarchand Gehlot on Sunday took oath as the19th Governor of Karnataka succeeding Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala.
The Chief Justice of the High Court of KarnatakaJustice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka administered Gehlot the oath ofoffice in the presence of outgoing Governor Vala, Speaker ofthe Karnataka Assembly Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, ChiefMinister B S Yediyurappa, his cabinet colleagues, MPs, MLAs,Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar and senior officials of the stategovernment.
Dressed in a white suit and sporting a Himachali cap,Gehlot took the oath of office and secrecy in the name of Godinside the imposing glass house of the Raj Bhavan.
After the oath taking ceremony, Justice Oka, Vala andYediyurappa greeted the new Governor with bouquets andcongratulated him.
The 73-year old Gehlot was the Minister for SocialJustice and Empowerment at the centre, and was leader of theHouse in Rajya Sabha.
The President had announced the appointment of Gehlotas the new Governor of Karnataka on July 6.
Born in a Dalit family on May 18, 1948 to RamlalGehlot and Suman Bai at Rupeta in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh,Gehlot did his BA from Vikram University, Ujjain.
Gehlot, who was involved with the RSS, took a plungeinto politics in 1962 through the Jan Sangh and held severalkey positions in the BJP.
His electoral politics began in 1980 and he waselected MLA thrice before becoming a member of Lok Sabha in1996 and served there for four consecutive terms till 2009.
He was also a Rajya Sabha member.
He is familiar with Karnataka as he served as thestate in-charge for years between 2006 and 2014 when he wasparty general secretary.
Gehlot had been to jail several times between 1968 and1971 for raising workers issues as well as during theEmergency in the 1970s.
Though the 83-year old Valas five-year term had endedin August, 2019, he continued in the post as his successor wasnot named by the centre.
Politically, Vala came under attack in May 2018, forinviting the BJP to form the government much to the chagrin ofthe Congress-JD(S) coalition, which had termed his action asthat of a “Gujarati businessman.” He was also targeted by Congress-JD(S) during H DKumaraswamys trust vote in July 2019, for repeatedly seekingto interfere with assembly proceedings, by settingdeadlines.
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