BENGALURU: Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar were sworn in as the new chief minister and deputy chief minister of Karnataka Saturday morning, a week after the party’s emphatic win in the 2023 Assembly election.
Eight Congress MLAs – including party boss Mallikarjun Kharge’s son Priyank and ex-deputy chief minister G Parameshwara – took oaths as ministers.
Others who took their oaths today were MB Patil, KH Muniyappa, KJ George, Satish Jarkiholi, Ramalinga Reddy and BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan. Patil and Parameshwara were seen as possible chief minister candidates during the stand-off between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar.
Senior leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were on stage, as was Mallikarjun Kharge. However, ex-party chief Sonia Gandhi – credited with breaking the Siddaramaiah-Shivakumar deadlock and convincing the latter to accept a No. 2 role – was absent.
The swearing-in ceremony – a grand affair at Bengaluru’s Sri Kanteerava Stadium – was attended by a phalanx of opposition leaders, including Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav, the chief minister and deputy chief minister of Bihar; Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar; and ex-Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.
A meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) later formally elected Mr 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 will become the CM for the second time after his earlier five-year stint from 2013. While 61-year-old Shivakumar, who had earlier worked as Minister under Mr Siddaramaiah, will also continue as the party’s Karnataka state president till Parliamentary elections are over next year.