BJP's legislature party leader B.S. Yeddyurappa was sworn-in as the Karnataka Chief Minister in Bengaluru on Thursday hours after the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead in a pre-dawn hearing.
Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath of office to Yeddyurappa at 9 am in the 'Glass House' of Raj Bhavan amid tight security.
Wearing a green shawl over his white shirt, 75-year-old Yeddyurappa, took the oath in Kannada in the presence of central and state leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and newly-elected legislators and senior officials.
Several senior BJP leaders like Prakash Javedkar, Muralidhar Rao, Shobha Karandlaje, Ananth Kumar, KS Eashwarappa and others were seated in the front row.
A jubilant BS Yeddyurappa had walked in with Sriramulu by his side, and waved at the audience and exchanged greetings with other leaders. Sriramulu is touted to take charge as Yeddyurappa's Deputy Chief Minister.
Though Yeddyurappa had envisioned a grand swearing-in-ceremony at the Kanteerva stadium in the presence of Prime Minister Modi and BJP President Amit Shah, the ceremony on Thursday was a low-key one.
Yeddyurappa was the only one who was sworn in by Governor Vajubhai Vala and not the entire cabinet, as is standard practice.
Earlier in the day, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court declined to stay the swearing-in of Yeddyurappa as the Chief Minister.
The court, however, sought the communications which Yeddyurappa had written to the Karnataka Governor informing the latter of his election as BJP legislature party leader.
The bench headed by Justice A.K. Sikri, while seeking Yeddyurappa's response on the petition by Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) seeking to stall his swearing-in, has directed further hearing of the matter at 10:30 am on Friday.
During the hearing, that commenced at 2:20 am and concluded with the court passing order at 5:30 on Thursday morning, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal was asked to produce the letters which the court was told are with the Karnataka Governor.
The top court heard a joint petition by the Congress and JD-S challenging Governor Vajubhai Vala's decision inviting Yeddyurappa to form a new government in the state despite having 104 MLAs -- eight short of simple majority.
The petition was filed late on Wednesday night after Governor Vala invited Yeddyurappa for an oath taking ceremony on Thursday and gave him 15 days to prove his majority in the legislative assembly.
The Congress and the JD-S, who formed a hurriedly stitched post-poll alliance after a hung assembly verdict to claim a majority of 116 members in the new assembly, called the Governor's decision "unconstitutional".
Senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who appeared for the Congress, said that in the case of Karnataka, it was unheard of a Chief Minister who does not have a majority was given 15 days to conduct floor test.