D.K. Shivakumar his deputy; 8 Cabinet Ministers also administered oath
Bengaluru: Departing from the tradition of taking oath on the grand steps of Vidhana Soudha, the State Legislature, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Leader Siddharamaiah preferred Sri Kanteerava Stadium for the swearing-in ceremony.
He was sworn-in as the Karnataka’s 24th Chief Minister (CM) by Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot who administered the oath of office and secrecy this afternoon. In 2013 too, Siddharamaiah had taken oath at Sri Kanteerava Stadium.
Today’s ceremony was held in the presence of thousands of Congress workers, a host of Chief Ministers and leaders of other States and about 20 regional parties.
KPCC President D.K. Shivakumar (DKS) was sworn-in as Deputy Chief Minister (Dy.CM). Along with the CM and Dy.CM, MLAs Dr. G. Parameshwara, K.H. Muniyappa, K.J. George, M.B. Patil, Satish Jarkiholi, Priyank Kharge, R. Ramalinga Reddy and B.Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan were also sworn-in as Cabinet Ministers. While all the leaders took oath in Kannada, Zameer Ahmed Khan chose to take oath in English.
Drawn in Delhi
Sources said that the Cabinet shortlist was drawn up in New Delhi after Siddharamaiah and Shivakumar camped in the national capital for a day and returned to Bengaluru yesterday to make their choices. After 20 names of ‘loyalists’ of Siddu and DKS camps were finalised, the High Command apparently picked the rest, keeping 4-5 berths vacant out of a sanctioned strength of 34.
The swearing-in ceremony was attended by Congress top brass Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge, party Karnataka in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala, AICC Gen. Secretary K.C. Venugopal as well as by multiple Opposition leaders, amid the grand old party’s push to forge Opposition unity ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Before the ceremony, Siddharamaiah and Shivakumar held hands together and displayed a show of unity along with leader Rahul Gandhi and the move was greeted with loud cheers.
The mega ceremony began at 12.40 pm and was attended by over 35,000 people who came from across the State and over 10,000 were ferried from Mysuru in buses and other vehicles. Party workers departed Mysuru early in the morning in vehicles that sported Congress flags.
Several prominent Opposition leaders including Tamil Nadu CM M.K. Stalin, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, Himachal Pradesh CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, National Conference President Farooq Abdullah and NCP President Sharad Pawar, Bihar Dy.CM Tejashwi Yadav, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Congress leader Kamal Nath, Communist party leaders Sitaram Yechuri and D. Raja, PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti, Actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam Chief Kamal Haasan, former Puduchery CM Narayanasami, actor Shivarajkumar, wife Geetha Shivarajkumar, actor ‘Duniya’ Vijay also attended.
West Bengal CM and TMC Chief Mamata Banerjee, who received a telephone invitation from Siddharamaiah, expressed her inability to attend the ceremony but deputed MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar to be at the swearing-in.