Siddaramaiah will be sworn in as chief minister for the second term, along with state Congress President D K Shivakumar as deputy chief minister on Saturday afternoon, exactly a week after the party swept the Assembly polls in Karnataka. According to sources in the Congress, eight legislators are likely to be sworn in as ministers along with them. Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar were in Delhi till late Friday night discussing with the party’s high command the names of ministers to be inducted into the new cabinet and the allocation of portfolios. While the CM-designate has returned to Bengaluru, the KPCC chief is on his way back.
Sources said those who are likely to be sworn-in as ministers are: G Parameshwara (SC), K H Muniyappa (SC), K J George (Minority-Christian), M B Patil (Lingayat), Satish Jarkiholi (ST-Valmiki), Priyank Kharge (SC and AICC President M Mallikarjun Kharge’s son), Ramalinga Reddy (Reddy), and B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan (Minority-Muslim). 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 Sree Kanteerava Stadium here. The venue is the same place where Siddaramaiah took oath in 2013, when he became chief minister for the first time.
The event may turn out to be a show of strength for opposition parties amid unity efforts to take on the ruling BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The Congress on Thursday named Siddaramaiah as the next chief minister and Shivakumar, a strong contender for the top post, as his only deputy, ending the tense deadlock after prolonged parleys involving its central leadership.
A meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) later on Thursday formally elected Siddaramaiah as its leader and chief minister, following which he staked his claim with the Governor, who invited him to form the government. The 75-year old Siddaramaiah will become the chief minister for the second term after his earlier five-year stint from 2013; while 61-year old Shivakumar, who had earlier worked as minister under Siddaramaiah, will also continue as the party’s Karnataka state president till Parliamentary elections next year.
Kharge has invited Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. Invitations have also been sent to National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah and Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, among others.