Siddaramaiah swearing-in ceremony likely to turn into a show of unity of Opposition parties

Leaders of 20 parties are invited; event is being held at Kanteerava Stadium

Updated - May 19, 2023 10:21 pm IST

Published - May 19, 2023 09:39 pm IST - Bengaluru

Preparations under way for the oath-taking ceremony at the Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on May 19, 2023.

Preparations under way for the oath-taking ceremony at the Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on May 19, 2023. | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

In what is being turned into a show of unity among the Opposition parties ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress has invited leaders of 20 parties across the country to witness the swearing-in ceremony of Siddaramaiah as the 24th Chief Minister of Karnataka and D.K. Shivakumar as the Deputy Chief Minister on Saturday.

Thousands of Congress supporters are expected to throng the Kanteerava Stadium in the Central Business District to witness Mr. Siddaramaiah taking oath for the second term at 12.30 p.m. In his earlier stint, Mr. Siddaramaiah had taken oath as the Chief Minister on May 13, 2013 and headed the Congress government till May 15, 2018, becoming the first Chief Minister after the late D. Devaraj Urs to complete full term. He has also presented a record 13 Budgets so far. Congress has registered an impressive victory winning 135 seats in the 224-member Assembly, its highest since 1989.

On Friday, brisk preparations were underway for the massive event. Mr. Shivakumar along with Chief Secretary Vandita Sharma oversaw the final touches being given in the stadium. Later, Mr. Siddaramaiah and Mr. Shivakumar, who went to Delhi to finalise the Cabinet formation, also invited top Congress leaders for the swearing in. As many as 28 Ministers will be taking oath along with the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister.

Besides the Chief Ministers and leaders, who are opposed to the BJP, Congress Chief Ministers and leaders from across the country, including Congress president M. Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi will be present at the swearing-in ceremony, setting the stage to provide optics of Opposition unity in the country.

This is the second time that several national leaders are converging in Bengaluru. In a similar exercise in 2018 when H.D. Kumaraswamy was sworn in as the Chief Minister of the Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress alliance, a number of top leaders of national and regional parties were present to send out a message of unity ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Police sources said that most of the invitees had confirmed their participation while a few would be sending their representatives. Among those sending the representatives are West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (TMC), former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackrey (Shiv Sena-Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav (Samajwadi Party).

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