Thawarchand Gehlot takes oath as 19th Karnataka Governor at Glass House in Raj Bhavan

Pramesh S Jain.Yogesh K Porwar

Veteran BJP leader and former union minister Thawarchand Gehlot on Sunday took oath as the 19th Governor of Karnataka succeeding Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala.

The Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka administered the Gehlot the oath of office in the presence of outgoing Governor Vala,Speaker of the Karnataka Assembly Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri,Chief Minister, BS Yediyurappa,his cabinet colleagues, MPs,MLAs,Chief Secretary,P Ravi Kumar and senior officials of the state government.

Dressed in a white suit and sporting a Himachali cap,Gehlot took the oath of office and secrecy in the name of God inside the imposing glass house of the Raj Bhavan.

The simple ceremony held at the Glass House in the premises of Raj Bhavan

The President had announced the appointment of Gehlot as the new Governor of Karnataka on July 6.

Former Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Gehlot was appointed the new Governor of Karnataka on July 6.

He was among the 12 Union Ministers who had resigned from their posts of Council of Ministers ahead of the Union Cabinet expansion on July 7.

He was the Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha since 2019.

Hailing from Rupeta village in Ujjain district of Madhya Pradesh,Gehlot used to be a part of Bharatiya Jana Sangh since his teenage days from 1962 till 1977 when the political arm of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ceased to exist.

A graduate from Vikram University in Ujjain,he then went on to become the vice president and general secretary of Janta Party from his home district and later joined the Bharatiya Janata Party to hold several key positions in the party throughout his political career spread across over five decades now.

The 73-year-old first became an MLA in 1980. After serving for three terms (1980-84, 1990-92, and 1993-96) in the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly,Gehlot was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1996 to complete four consecutive terms as an MP till 2009.

Gehlot was picked to represent Madhya Pradesh IN Rajya Sabha three years after he lost to Sajjan Singh Verma during the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.

One among the most recognisable faces for scheduled castes in the Modi-led cabinet,he was appointed as the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment in 2014 itself when the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance,(NDA) took over.

Gehlot was picked to the Upper House for the second time in 2018 with his term in the Rajya Sabha extended till 2024.He has also been the Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha since 2019.

However,following his appointment as the Karnataka Governor last week,he resigned from three key positions in the cabinet,the Rajya Sabha,and the BJP parliamentary board.

Earlier,Gehlot had served as BJP’s Karnataka state-in-charge between 2006 and 2014 when he was party’s general secretary.

His posting as the Governor of Karnataka comes at a time when political turbulence is highly speculated linked to the survival of the state government as talks of leadership change continue,with opposition parties Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) watching all developments closely in the run-up to the Assembly elections scheduled to be held in 2023.