INDIA. Mumbai: The Congress named former CM Siddaramaiah as the new Chief Minister of Karnataka and KPCC Chief DK Shivakumar as his deputy ending the logjam for the last 4 days over the selection of the CM, on Thursday. The swearing-in will take place at 12.30 noon on May 20, Saturday.
The Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal tweeted, “Heartiest congratulations to Sh. @siddaramaiah ji and Sh. @DKShivakumar ji for being designated the next Chief Minister and Deputy CM of Karnataka! I am confident that your combined experience, empathy, and dedication to public service will give Karnataka a visionary leadership that will take it to new heights! My best wishes to you for a remarkable tenure ahead!”
In a press briefing at AICC headquarters in New Delhi, Venugopal said, “A group of ministers will be sworn in on May 20 at 12:30 p.m., with the CM Siddaramaiah and Deputy CM Shivakumar. We are inviting like-minded parties to the swearing-in.” He said that the Congress is a democratic party and there is no scope for dictatorship.
Dr G Parameshwar, a former deputy chief minister of Karnataka, went to Raj Bhavan as a Congress representative and met with Governor Thavarchand Gehlot to inform him that the party had formed a government after winning 135 seats in the assembly election on May 10.
The selection of the Chief Minister was concluded after the AICC chief Mallikarjun Kharge worked through the night to find a solution. Shivakumar agreed to work as the deputy chief minister at the intervention by Congress President Sonia Gandhi. However, there was no clarity on whether the chief ministership will be rotational.
Siddaramaiah (75), a farmer by profession, became MLA for the first time by winning the election on a Bharatiya Lok Dal ticket in 1983. Later he joined Janata Party. He was re-elected from the same constituency in the mid-term polls in 1985.
Siddaramaiah handled diverse portfolios in the cabinet of former CM Ramakrishna Hegde. He was a staunch anti-Congressman when he was well entrenched in the “Janata Party” (later Janata Dal). However, he was ousted from JD (S) by former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, and he joined the Congress and has been with the Congress since then.
D.K. Shivakumar (61), a seven-time MLA, started his political career as a student leader at the start of the 1980s and ascended steadily through the Congress party’s ranks. He was elected to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in 1989 from the Sathanur constituency in the Mysuru district, winning his first election.
He is considered the richest politician having assets worth Rs 1413 crore. He will continue as the KPCC Chief till the Parliamentary election, scheduled to be held next year, is over.