To be sworn in on Monday, May 12
BENGALURU (TIP): K. Siddaramaiah, 65, was on May 10, elected the new chief minister of Karnataka. He will be sworn in as the 28th chief minister of the state on Monday, May 12 at 11.15 A.M. Union Defence Minister and All India Congress Committee observer A K Antony announced his name as the new leader of the Congress Legislature Party after the CLP meeting unanimously elected him.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G Parameshwar, other AICC observers Luizinho Faleiro and Madhusudan Mistry, and Union Ministers Veerappa Moily and Jitendra Singh attended. Addressing a press conference, Siddaramaiah said, “I have been unanimously elected as the new chief minister after the AICC observers elicited the views of all newly-elected legislators personally. After discussing with AICC president Sonia Gandhi, and as directed by her, A K Antony declared my name as the new leader of the CLP.
” When the CLP meeting was convened earlier on 10 May morning, Siddaramaiah moved a resolution requesting that the CLP leadership be left to Sonia Gandhi. H K Patil, Roshan Baig, Shyamanur Shivashankarappa, and D K Shivakumar seconded it. However, the AICC observers asked the legislators to express their choice, in a secret ballot. It is said around 80 members suggested Siddaramaiah’s name, while the rest left it to the party high command.
Union Labour and Employment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge was the other contender for the post. The decision to make Siddaramaiah the CM was taken after Antony finished consultations with MLAs and telephoned General Secretary Ahmad Patel, seeking the Congress president’s opinion. Although a majority of the MLAs said they did want Siddaramaiah, Antony conveyed to Patel that a large number was also apprehensive: that one community should not be pacified at the cost of another – that is, Kurubas at the cost of Dalits.
Antony asked if he should stay in Bangalore or return for more consultations. He was asked to stay and the Congress president would revert to him. He was also told the decision would be announced on Friday, May 10 at 6 pm and that there would be no postponement. Separately, Kharge told his supporters that the party had asked him to report back to Delhi and that he would be made railway minister. Antony also conveyed to Parameshwar that his contribution to the Karnataka victory would not be overlooked and he would be made a junior minister at the Centre.
Should Parameshwar move to Delhi, the question is who will become PCC chief. It is known that both D K Shivakumar and R V Deshpande are eyeing the job. The Congress got 28 per cent of the Lingayat votes and 32 per cent of the Vokkaliga votes. It would not like to lose the goodwill of these two castes. Soon after the announcement, Parameshwar accompanied by Madhusudan Mistry, rushed to Raj Bhavan and handed over the letter of Siddaramaiah’s election as CLP leader to governor H R Bhardwaj.
They asked the governor to give his permission to form the next government. Talking to reporters, Parameshwar said to begin with, only Siddaramaiah would be sworn in on Monday and the council of ministers will be decided after consulting the party high command at Delhi. “I and Siddaramaiah will go to Delhi to discuss with the high command and finalize the list of council of ministers after the swearing-in of chief the minister on Monday,” he said. Earlier this week, the Congress secured a comfortable majority of 121 MLAs in the 224-member house. The voting was held on Sunday, May 5 and votes were counted on Thursday, May 9.