Siddaramaiah, Shivakumar in Delhi to discuss Karnataka Cabinet formation, allocation of portfolios

Siddaramaiah and D.K. Shivakumar will take oath as the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister respectively along with a few more Ministers at 12.30 p.m. on May 20

Updated - May 19, 2023 07:35 pm IST

Published - May 19, 2023 04:58 pm IST - New Delhi

Karnataka Chief Minister-designate Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister-designate D.K. Shivakumar meet Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra in New Delhi on May 19, 2023. Photo: Twitter/@INCIndia

Karnataka Chief Minister-designate Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister-designate D.K. Shivakumar meet Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra in New Delhi on May 19, 2023. Photo: Twitter/@INCIndia

Karnataka Chief Minister-designate Siddaramaiah and his deputy D.K. Shivakumar arrived in New Delhi on Friday (May 19) to discuss with the party's high command the names of Ministers to be inducted into the new Cabinet and the allocation of portfolios.

They will also invite the party's top brass for the swearing-in ceremony on Saturday.

A meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) on Thursday (May 18) formally elected Mr. Siddaramaiah as its leader, following which he staked claim with the Governor, who invited him to form the government.

Mr. Siddaramaiah and Mr. Shivakumar would take oath as the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister respectively along with a few Ministers at 12.30 p.m. on Saturday (May 20) at the Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.

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"We want to invite our leaders, we want to invite Rahul ji, Sonia ji, Kharge ji and Priyanka ji for the ceremony. They gave their sweat, direction (to the campaign), so I wanted to invite them personally. Later, we are discussing the Cabinet formation," Mr. Shivakumar told reporters after arriving in Delhi.

Asked how many Opposition leaders would attend the swearing-in, Mr. Shivakumar said, "that we have requested our AICC president to take care of, for us, first is the Congress president and the Gandhi family, we are here to invite them personally."

He asserted that the promises made by leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi to the people of Karnataka will be fulfilled in the first Cabinet meeting.

Siddaramaiah at KPCC office after the Congress legislative party meeting in Bengaluru on May 18, 2023.

Siddaramaiah at KPCC office after the Congress legislative party meeting in Bengaluru on May 18, 2023. | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

The two leaders had arrived to a grand welcome in Bengaluru after the Congress announced on Thursday morning that Mr. Siddaramaiah would be the Chief Minister and Mr. Shivakumar his deputy following hectic parleys over three days.

Earlier, before leaving for Delhi, Mr. Shivakumar said fulfilling the promises made to the people is the first priority.

"Cabinet, people, all those things we will let you know later, we will not do anything leaving you (media), there is no need for any speculation. We will work unitedly," he said.

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The first challenge that Mr. Siddaramaiah is expected to face is putting in place a Cabinet with the right combinations that will strike a balance in having representatives from all communities, regions, factions and also from among the old and new generation of legislators.

With the sanctioned strength of the Karnataka Cabinet being 34, there are too many aspirants for ministerial berths.

Stating that the voice of the people will be the voice of the government of Karnataka, Mr. Shivakumar said, "all our national leaders are coming (for the swearing-in ceremony). On the first day, in the first cabinet, we will implement all our 'guarantees', we will keep up our promise."

Several national leaders have been invited for the swearing-in ceremony and most of them are coming, he said.

Mr. Shivakumar also invited leaders of the BJP and JD(S) for the event, stating that as public representatives, they too are part of the government machinery.

Earlier, the Deputy CM-designate also visited Kanteerava Stadium, the venue of the ceremony and inspected the preparations there.

The Congress has promised to implement "guarantees" like 200 units of free power to all households (Gruha Jyoti), ₹2,000 monthly assistance to the woman head of every family (Gruha Lakshmi), 10 kg of rice free to every member of a BPL household (Anna Bhagya), ₹3,000 every month for graduate youth and ₹1,500 for diploma holders (both in the age group of 18-25) for two years (YuvaNidhi), and free travel for women in public transport buses (Shakti), on the first day of assuming power in the State.

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