Thaawarchand Gehlot will be sworn-in as Governor of Karnataka at the Glass House of Raj Bhavan on Sunday at 10.30 a.m., a Raj Bhavan communique said here on Friday.
The oath of office to the new Governor will be administered by Karnataka Chief Justice, Abhay Srinivas Oka .
President Ram Nath Kovind had approved the appointment of eight Governors on June 6 and Gehlot is one among them.
Gehlot will be the 19th Governor of Karnataka. He is also the first leader from Madhya Pradesh to become Governor of this state.
Prior to his elevation to gubernatorial position, he was serving as Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment from 2014 to 2021.
He was also the Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha. Besides a member of BJP’s top most decision making body – Parliamentary Board and also the Central Election Committee of the party.
Gehlot is taking over as the Governor of Karnataka at a time when incumbent Chief Minister, B.S. Yediyurappa’s leadership in the state is under constant challenge from dissenters within the state unit of the BJP besides the ruling BJP will be gearing up to face Assembly elections in 2023 and Lok Sabha polls in 2024.
Gehlot’s predecessor Vajubhai Vala had taken over from K. Rosaiah, the then governor of Tamil Nadu, who was given additional charge of Karnataka after H. R. Bhardwaj’s five-year tenure came to an end in June 2014.
Vala presided over a tumultuous period during which the state saw four chief ministers in a span of seven years.
Siddaramaiah was chief minister from 2013-18 when Vala took office. However, after the assembly elections, on May 17, 2018, Vala invited Yediyurappa and the Bharatiya Janata Party that had won 104 out of the 224 assembly seats to form the government since it was the single largest party despite it being short of the majority of 113.
The invitation led to accusations of bias since the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress had already forged a formal alliance that gave them the majority. On top of this, Vala gave Yediyurappa 15 days to prove his majority despite the latter only seeking seven days.
The Congress and JD(S) took the matter to the Supreme Court and a three judge bench, in a midnight hearing, said the majority had to be proven by the evening of May 20.
Yediyurappa had to step down after just two days in power. Three days later on May 23, H.D. Kumaraswamy of the JD-S was sworn in as chief minister after joining hands with the Congress.
In the 14 months that followed, the Karnataka Raj Bhavan’s role came under scrutiny for alleged political activities before the Cong-JD(S) coalition was nearly wiped out in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, which gave the BJP an unprecedented 25 out ans single seat supported by BJP, while coalition partners had to be content with lone seat each of the 28 seats in the state.
Amid allegations that Yediyurappa and the BJP were luring legislators from the Congress and JD(S) to defect to the party. 17 legislators quit from both parties, Yediyurappa was finally sworn in as chief minister for a record fourth time on 26 July 2019.