Bangalore: Vajubhai Vala, former Gujarat Assembly Speaker and an old trusted aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was on Monday sworn in as Governor of Karnataka.
76-year-old Vala was administered oath of office by Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court D H Waghela at a ceremony at Raj Bhavan.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Union Ministers D V Sadananda Gowda and Ananth Kumar, state ministers, leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Jagadish Shettar, BJP Vice-President B S Yeddyurappa and senior bureaucrats were present at the event.
Vala took the oath in Hindi.
With a strong RSS background, Vala had served in the Modi Government in Gujarat as Finance Minister before he was elected as Speaker in January last year. He has an impressive record of having presented the state budget 18 times.
Vala succeeds Rosaiah, Tamil Nadu Governor who was given additional charge of Karnataka, post the retirement of H R Bharadwaj on June 28.
A B.Sc., LL.B graduate, Vala entered public life as a Swayamsevak of RSS during his school days. He became Mayor of Rajkot city in February 1983 and was elected as an MLA for the first time in 1985 from Rajkot-2 constituency.
On the eve of the swearing-in, Siddaramaiah had yesterday expressed unhappiness over the Modi Government not consulting him about his appointment to the state."... It is customary that the Chief Minister is consulted before appointing the new Governor; they have done this (appointment) without consulting me," he had said.
Siddaramaiah, however, said now that Vala had been appointed, he would welcome him.
Taking up the gubernatorial responsibility in an opposition (Congress) ruled state, Vala has said in interviews that he would work under the provisions of the Constitution and would be on the right side of the law.
The previous BJP Government when headed by B S Yeddyurappa had strained relations with Bhardwaj who was then seen as being at loggerheads with the opposition-ruled state. His relationship with the D V Sadananda Gowda and Jagadish Shettar governments was, however, normal.