New Delhi: Congress on Thursday finally ended days of suspense over the next Karnataka Chief Minister and officially named Siddaramaiah to lead the southern state. Addressing a press conference, Congress leader KC Venugopal said that Karnataka party president DK Shivakumar will be the deputy CM and that their swearing-in ceremony will be held in Bengaluru on May 20.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge also tweeted a picture of him flanked by Siddaramiah and Shivakumar and is seen raising the hands of both leaders to signal a consensus. “Team Congress is committed to usher progress, welfare and social justice for the people of Karnataka. We will implement the 5 guarantees promised to 6.5 Cr Kannadigas,” he wrote on Twitter.
Team Congress is committed to usher progress, welfare and social justice for the people of Karnataka.
We will implement the 5 guarantees promised to 6.5 Cr Kannadigas. pic.twitter.com/6sycng00Bu
— Mallikarjun Kharge (@kharge) May 18, 2023
After the announcement of their names as the new Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka respectively, Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar both expressed their commitment to work unitedly for the welfare of the people of the State.
“Our hands will always be united to protect the interests of Kannadigas. The Congress party will work as a family to deliver a pro-people, transparent, corruption-free governance and fulfill all our guarantees,” Siddaramaiah said in a tweet with a picture of Kharge raising his and Shivakumar’s hand in a show of unity.
ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರ ಹಿತ ರಕ್ಷಣೆಗೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಕೈಗಳು ಸದಾ ಒಂದಾಗಿರಲಿದೆ.
ಜನಪರ, ಪಾರದರ್ಶಕ, ಭ್ರಷ್ಟಾಚಾರ ರಹಿತ ಆಡಳಿತ ನೀಡುವ ಜೊತೆಗೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಗ್ಯಾರೆಂಟಿಗಳನ್ನು ಈಡೇರಿಸಲು ಕಾಂಗ್ರೆಸ್ ಪಕ್ಷ ಒಂದು ಕುಟುಂಬವಾಗಿ ಕೆಲಸ ಮಾಡಲಿದೆ. pic.twitter.com/V0OoO7JUKQ
— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) May 18, 2023
Shivakumar also tweeted a picture with Kharge and Siddaramiah and said that ‘Karnataka’s secure future and our people’s welfare is our top priority’.
“We are united in guaranteeing that,” he said.
Karnataka’s secure future and our peoples welfare is our top priority, and we are united in guaranteeing that. pic.twitter.com/sNROprdn5H
— DK Shivakumar (@DKShivakumar) May 18, 2023
Congress arrived at a consensus on government formation in Karnataka following hectic parleys, and Kharge along with other stakeholders held meetings past midnight to hammer out a solution between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar — the two chief ministerial aspirants. Both leaders had been camping in the national capital and held several rounds of deliberations with the Congress’ top brass including Kharge and former party chief Rahul Gandhi.
While Siddaramaiah, 75, was Karnataka CM from 2012 to 2018, Shivakumar, 61, has been a minister in the state and is currently the Karnataka Congress chief.
Meanwhile, a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting has been called by Shivakumar, the party’s state unit chief, in Bengaluru on Thursday evening. The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee chief has written to all legislators, asking them to attend the meeting of newly-elected MLAs, MLCs, and MPs at the Indira Gandhi Bhavan on Queen’s Road at 7 pm.
It is notable that in the May 10 elections to the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, the Congress scored an emphatic victory by bagging 135 seats while the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the former prime minister HD Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) secured 66 and 19 seats, respectively.
Celebrations break out at Siddaramaiah’s native village
Celebrations, meanwhile, broke out near the residence of Siddaramaiah in Bengaluru and at his native village in the Mysuru district on Thursday morning after it emerged that he will be the next Chief Minister. His supporters shouted slogans in his favour as the news came out that he would take oath as the CM on May 20.
The residents of Siddaramanahundi, the native village of Siddaramaiah were, in fact, jubilant since Wednesday following reports that their leader would become the chief minister again. The villagers set off crackers, raised slogans hailing Siddaramaiah, and distributed sweets.
His brother Sidde Gowda was confident that Siddaramaiah will be chosen for the top post.
“There’s a guarantee that Siddaramaiah will become Chief Minister. He has done well for the people. He introduced the ‘Anna Bhagya’ scheme giving free rice to the poor people,” Sidde Gowda told reporters in Siddaramanahundi on Wednesday.