Opposition leaders, Congress CMs to attend Siddaramaiah's swearing in
Congress president Kharge has invited leaders of several like-minded parties for the swearing-in ceremony. Eight of the 34 cabinet ministers have been announced so far.
Siddaramaiah will be sworn in as chief minister of Karnataka for the second time on Saturday, along with the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief DK Shivakumar as the deputy chief minister and eight other ministers.
Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge has invited leaders of several like-minded parties for the swearing-in ceremony, which will see Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot administering the oath of office and secrecy to the chief minister and his cabinet at 12.30 pm at Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.
Among the invitees are Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and Jammu & Kashmir National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah.
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The event may turn out to be a show of strength for Opposition parties to take on the ruling BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
From the Congress party itself Kharge himself, former Congress presidents Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, several states' chief ministers and leaders are expected to attend.
The venue—Sri Kantareeva Stadium—is the same place Siddaramaiah took oath in 2013, when he became chief minister for the first time.
The Congress on Thursday named Siddaramaiah as the next chief minister and state PCC chief Shivakumar, a strong contender for the top post, as his only deputy, after prolonged parleys involving its central leadership.
A meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) later formally elected Siddaramaiah as its leader and chief minister in the state, following which he staked his claim with the governor, who invited him to form the government.
Meanwhile 61-year-old Shivakumar, who has been a minister under 75-year-old Siddaramaiah before as well, will also continue as the party's Karnataka state president till the Parliamentary elections are over next year.
The first daunting task that Siddaramaiah is expected to face is putting in place a cabinet with the right combinations to strike a balance and represent all communities, regions, factions and both the old and the new generations of legislators.
With the sanctioned strength of the Karnataka Cabinet being 34, there are too many aspirants for ministerial berths. Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar have been in Delhi with the party's high command, discussing the names and allocation of portfolios in the new cabinet. So far, the names confirmed by reliable sources within the party include:
BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan
Some of the ministers will be sworn alongside the CM and deputy CM.
It is expected that at the first cabinet meeting after the swearing-in tomorrow, the new government would take measures to implement the Five Guarantees of its manifesto.
In its campaign for the Karnataka assembly, the Congress had promised to ensure on the very first day of assuming power in the state:
200 units of free power to all households (Gruha Jyoti)
₹2,000 monthly assistance to the woman heading a family (Gruha Lakshmi)
10 kg of rice free to every member of a household below the poverty line (BPL) (Anna Bhagya)
₹3,000 every month for graduate youth and ₹1,500 for diploma holders (both in the age group of 18–25) for two years (YuvaNidhi)
Free travel for women in public transport buses (Shakti)
"Fulfilling the promises made to the people is our first priority," deputy CM-designate Shivakumar has said.
Elaborate security measures have been put in place in and around the venue to ensure that the event is conducted smoothly, especially given the presence of several national level leaders and dignitaries of other states. Officials have noted that special measures will be taken on traffic movement as the event takes place in the heart of the city.
According to sources, a total of three daises have been set up and LED screens have been installed for people to watch the swearing-in ceremony.
With inputs from PTI
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