deputy on Saturday. The swearing-in ceremony of Siddaramaiah, Shivakumar and a group of eight legislators, including former Dy CM G Parameshwara, MLAs MB Patil, and Priyank Kharge, as ministers, is underway at Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.
Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar on Friday met senior Congress leader Sonia Gandhi to discuss all possible names to be inducted into the cabinet and also formally invite the Congress high command for the oath-taking ceremony today.
Siddaramaiah, who is the leader of the Congress Legislature Party has written to Karnataka Governor requesting him to administer the oath to eight MLAs as Cabinet Ministers.
The Legislators who are 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).
Shivakumar, belonging to the Vokkaliga community, is among those involved in the formation of the cabinet, sources said. The Deputy-CM has assured that the promises made by leaders like Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi to the people of Karnataka would be fulfilled in the first Cabinet meeting itself.
The oath-taking of the Congress government in Karnataka also doubled as a stage for opposition unity, with the presence of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, National Conference President Farooq Abdullah and several other leaders from the non-BJP bloc. The gathering signifies a collective effort in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge has extended invitations to leaders from various political parties, including JMM, RJD, Shiv Sena, SP, PDP, CPI(M), CPI, MDMK, RSP, CPI(ML), VCK, RLD, Kerala Congress, and IUML, for the swearing-in ceremony.
While the event aims to promote opposition unity, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee will not be in attendance, making her absence conspicuous. However, TMC will send in its representative to make the party’s presence felt on the occasion.
The Congress had triumphed in Karnataka by winning 135 out of 224 seats in the southern state while the ruling BJP was reduced to 66 seats. The JD-S which was hoping to play the role of ‘kingmaker’ in the state was also reduced to 19 seats.