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Last Updated: Monday, 12 November 2007, 13:53 GMT
BJP milestone in southern India
BS Yeddyurappa
BS Yeddyurappa is in charge of one of India's most important states
A new government headed by India's main opposition BJP has taken office in the southern state of Karnataka.

Senior party leader BS Yeddyurappa has been sworn in as state chief minister, ending a month of federal rule imposed during political wrangling.

It is the first time the Hindu nationalist BJP has led a government in southern India.

Karnataka is a politically important state, and its capital, Bangalore, is the hub of India's booming IT industry.

The BJP hopes to use Karnataka as a stepping stone to make in-roads in the south where it lacks support. Elections are due soon in a number of Indian states.

Splits and spats

Karnataka was put under direct federal rule a month ago after the coalition government of the Janata Dal (Secular) and BJP fought over power sharing.

This is the third government in the state since assembly elections were held in 2004.

The elections threw up a split verdict with no party gaining a majority in the 224-member state assembly.

The BJP was the largest party with 79 seats, but Congress with its 64 members aligned with 58 Janata Dal (S) members to form the government.

The government lasted for 20 months before the two split.

In February 2006, the Janata Dal (S) and BJP joined hands to form a government. The two parties agreed that each would have the chief minister's post for 20 months.

The state assembly was suspended last month and federal rule was imposed after the Janata Dal (S) refused to give up the chief minister's chair in favour of the BJP candidate.

Correspondents say the Janata Dal (S) has now patched up with the BJP, allowing Mr Yeddyurappa to take over as chief minister.

He was sworn in along with four ministers from the BJP at a ceremony in Bangalore. Senior party leaders and thousands of supporters attended.



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