Mumbai, May 17: The BSE Sensex plunged 239 points today to end at 35,149.12 as nervous investors took money off the table amid political wrangling in Karnataka. Muted quarterly earnings, crude oil prices inching closer to USD 80 per barrel, mixed cues from global markets and unabated foreign fund outflows were other factors behind the sharp fall, brokers said.

BJP legislature party leader B S Yeddyurappa was today sworn in as the chief minister of Karnataka for the second time, after an overnight high-voltage legal battle in the Supreme Court. However, the apex court made it clear that the swearing-in and the government formation would be subject to the final outcome of the case before it.

The 30-share Sensex resumed higher at 35,483.62 and advanced to a high of 35,510.01. However, it slipped on profit-booking and touched a low of 35,087.82, before finally settling at 35,149.12, down 238.76 points, or 0.67 percent. This is the benchmark's lowest closing since May 4 when it had closed at 34,915.38.

The gauge had lost 168.83 points in the previous two sessions. The NSE 50-share Nifty also lost 58.40 points, or 0.54 percent, to 10,682.70, after shuttling between 10,777.25 and 10,664.50. Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) net sold shares worth Rs 699.22 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth Rs 229.06 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.