BENGALURU: Amid a boisterous crowd running into thousands, and in the presence of a host of national leaders, Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah took the oath of office as the 24th Chief Minister of India’s Karnataka state, along with Karnataka Pradesh Congress Comittee (KPCC) president D.K. Shivakumar, who was sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister, reports the Hindu.
In a joyous occasion for the Congress party that lasted for over an hour at Kanteerava stadium in Bengaluru, eight senior Congress MLAs were sworn in as Cabinet Ministers by Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot.
Siddaramaiah had sent their names to the Governor’s office on May 20 morning. The names of the eight leaders were cleared after multiple deliberations by the central leaders of the Congress even as several other senior leaders and Cabinet hopefuls remain on tenterhooks.
“People have blessed the Congress, and the victory of the Congress is a victory of the people. Our governance will meet the expectations of the people who have sought a change. We will clear the guarantees in the Cabinet meeting today. We will also implement all the promises made in the manifesto in the next five years,” Siddaramaiah announced after he was administered the oath of office.
Soon after Siddaramaiah was sworn in, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi — in a show of bonhomie — hugged the newly sworn in Chief Minister.
Hours before the oath ceremony, the mood at Kanteerava stadium was electrifying as Congress supporters — many with flags and tattoos — trooped into the stadium. The crowd roared its approval during the entry of each of the leader on the dais. While an estimated 20,000 supporters were in the stadium to witness the momentous occasion of Siddaramaiah taking the oath of office of Chief Minister for the second time, a few thousands were disappointed at not being allowed inside the venue.
The occasion was marked by the presence of AICC president Mallikarjuna Kharge, and Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Also in attendance were Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his Deputy Tejaswi Yadav, former Chief Ministers of Jammu & Kashmir Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, CPI leader D. Raja, CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan, and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Sharad Pawar.
Soon after the Ministers took the oath of office, Rahul Gandhi promised that the Congress will provide a corruption-free government, and said that love and truth had trumped over hate and corruption. “We have truth and poor people by our side. The people of Karnataka have defeated corruption and hate despite the BJP having money, power and the police. In the market of hatred, people have opened a store of love and harmony. We will not give you fake promises. We will stand by what we have said. In the next few hours, the Cabinet will clear the five guarantees, and they will be implemented legally,” he told the people of Karnataka.