New Delhi: Ending the suspense over the new Karnataka chief minister, Congress leader Siddaramaiah took oath as the next Karnataka Chief Minister with DK Shivakumar as sole Deputy Chief Minister on Saturday.
Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot administered the oath of office and secrecy to Shivakumar at the swearing-in ceremony being held at Bengaluru’s Kanteerava Stadium.
- Top brass of the Congress party — including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, and party national president Mallikarjun Kharge — were 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, attended the event.
- The party had also sent invitations to numerous opposition parties and their leaders. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah were also present during the swearing-in ceremony.
- Eight MLAs also sworn in as ministers on the occasion.
- West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee could not attend the swearing-in ceremony. However, she conveyed her best wishes and designated Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, TMC Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha, to attend the ceremony.
- Other opposition leaders who were present include Sharad Pawar, and Kamal Haasan.
Siddaramaiah won from the Varuna constituency in the state assembly election, while DK Shivakumar from the Kanakapura constituency.
A leader with strong grassroots connections, Siddaramaiah has been associated with the formulation of state Budgets for several years and has an eye for detail.
Karnataka has complex caste equations and a history of voting out incumbent governments. Only three chief ministers before Siddaramaiah — S. Nijalingappa (1962 and 1967, three terms including 1956); D Devaraj Urs (1972 and 1978), and RK Hegde (1983 and 1985) — had two terms as chief minister.
Siddaramaiah,74, launched several welfare schemes during his five-year tenure as chief minister from 2013, and it helped the Congress campaign during the assembly polls which had several people-oriented promises.
During his long political career, Siddaramaiah has lost elections, but has bounced back due to his strong determination and his quest for “social justice”.
The Congress manifesto lists five main guarantees. “Gruha Jyoti: 200 units of free power to all households; Gruha Lakshmi: ₹2,000 monthly assistance to the woman head of every family; Anna Bhagya: 10 kg of rice free to every member of a BPL household; Yuva Nidhi scheme: diploma holders will get an allowance of ₹1,500 per month for two years, while graduates will receive ₹3,000 per month and Shakti: Free bus rides for all women in the state”.
Congress bagged 135 seats in the May 10 Karnataka Assembly elections ousting the ruling BJP, which got 66 seats, while Janata Dal (Secular) secured 19 seats.
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