New Delhi: Congress on Thursday invited the leaders of like-minded parties to the swearing-in ceremony of Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah and deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar scheduled on May 20, sources said on Thursday.
According to ANI sources, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav, who recently met Maharashtra Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar recently in Mumbai, have also been extended an invitation at the swearing-in ceremony.
ANI sources said that the invitation has also been sent to like-minded opposition parties and their leaders including Hemant Soren, Sitaram Yechuri, Uddhav Thackeray, Sharad Pawar, and Farooq Abdullah, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Among other opposition leaders who have been invited include Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The Gandhi family including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will also be present on the occasion.
Chief Ministers of the Congress-ruled states including Himachal CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel will also be present.
Meanwhile, after the announcement of the chief ministerial face for Karnataka, Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Thursday spoke to Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot over the phone and will stake claim to form the government today evening, sources said.
The Raj Bhavan sources said the swearing-in ceremony will take place on May 20 at 12.30 pm in Bengaluru, for which Congress MLA G Parameshwara went to Raj Bhavan as a representative of the party and met the Governor.
Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar, who were camping in the national capital for days after winning the Karnataka Assembly polls, left for Bengaluru on Thursday afternoon.
After days of deliberation, Congress on Thursday announced that party leader Siddaramaiah will be the next Karnataka Chief Minister and DK Shivakumar will be Deputy Chief Minister.
Congress general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal made the announcement at the party headquarters in the national capital.
The decision on the next Karnataka Chief Minister came following days of hectic parleys in Delhi after the newly-elected MLAs authorized party chief Mallikarjun Kharge to choose their leader.
The party leadership held a series of meetings over the past several days and numerous formulas were mooted before a decision was arrived.
Congress bagged 135 seats in the May 10 elections to the 224-member Karnataka Assembly ousting the ruling BJP, which got 66 seats while the Janata Dal (Secular) secured 19 seats.
(With ANI Inputs)
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