With the question of who would be the next chief minister of Karnataka out of the way following a morning announcement, the Congress late evening on Thursday, 18 May, staked claim to form the government in the state.
The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) formally elected Siddaramaiah as its leader on Thursday morning.
That came after days of tussling between him and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee chief DK Shivakumar, both of whom were vying for the chief minister’s post.
On Thursday evening, Chief Minister-designate Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister-designate Shivakumar led a delegation of around 20 members to meet Karnataka Governor Thaawar Chand Gehlot and stake claim to form the government.
Related: CM-designate Siddaramaiah takes all in his stride
Congress stakes claim
Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar met Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot on Thursday and staked a claim to form the new government.
ಕಾಂಗ್ರೆಸ್ ಶಾಸಕಾಂಗ ಪಕ್ಷದ ನಾಯಕರಾದ @siddaramaiah ಹಾಗೂ ಕೆಪಿಸಿಸಿ ಅಧ್ಯಕ್ಷರಾದ @DKShivakumar ಅವರು ರಾಜಭವನದಲ್ಲಿ ರಾಜ್ಯಪಾಲರಾದ ಥಾವರಚಂದ್ ಗೆಹಲೊಟ್ ಅವರನ್ನು ಭೇಟಿ ಮಾಡಿ ನೂತನ ಸರ್ಕಾರದ ಸಚಿವ ಸಂಪುಟ ರಚನೆಗೆ ಕಾಂಗ್ರೆಸ್ ಪಕ್ಷದ ಹಕ್ಕು ಪ್ರತಿಪಾದಿಸಿದರು. ಎಐಸಿಸಿ ಪ್ರಧಾನ ಕಾರ್ಯದರ್ಶಿಗಳಾದ @rssurjewala, ವಿಧಾನ ಪರಿಷತ್ ವಿಪಕ್ಷ… pic.twitter.com/SS5no0EOdv
— Karnataka Congress (@INCKarnataka) May 18, 2023
Gehlot greeted the Congress leaders with sweets at Raj Bhavan.
Surjewala and Karnataka MLAs RV Deshpande, MB Patil, HK Patil, NA Haris and other state leaders accompanied Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar to the Governor’s office.
In the 2023 Assembly elections, Congress registered a stellar victory winning 135 assembly seats, which is 22 seats more than the magic number 113. The incumbent BJP government was reduced to 66 seats and the JD(S) to 19 seats.
Now, Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar are expected to hold a swearing-in ceremony at Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru at 12.30 pm on 20 May.
Around 15-20 MLAs are also expected to take oath as Cabinet ministers on the same day.
The Congress has invited West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, Bihar Chief Minister Nitesh Kumar, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and other like-minded leaders for the oath-taking ceremony.
Related: What it took for Congress to make Siddaramaiah CM
Congress chairs CLP meet
The Karnataka CLP had its second meeting at the Bharat Jodo Auditorium in Bengaluru on Thursday.
The meeting was held under the headship of AICC general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala, who is also in charge of the Congress’ Karnataka unit, and AICC observer and former Union minister Sushilkumar Shinde.
In the meeting, Shivakumar proposed Siddaramaiah’s name as the leader of the CLP. Congress MLAs Dr G Parameshwar, HK Patil, MB Patil, Tanveer Sait, HK Muniyappa, and others seconded it.
The likes of RV Deshpande, and Laxmi Hebbalkar also backed it.
I thank all my MLA friends for electing me as the leader of Congress Legislature Party
Let us together give good governance and able administration for the benefit of our people. pic.twitter.com/EgB0QLBQLw
— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) May 18, 2023
All 133 newly elected legislators were part of the CLP meeting.
Jewargi MLA Ajay Singh, Hungund MLA Vijayananda Kashappanavar, and Chikkaballapur MLA Pradeep Eshwar turned up late for the CLP meeting.
Hosakote MLA Sharath Bachegowda told South First: “We formally elected Siddaramaiah as the CLP leader in the meeting. All the MLAs backed the proposal presented by Shivakumar on electing CLP leader.”
He added: “The discussions also happened about the Cabinet expansion but the names were not announced. Around 15-20 MLAs are likely to take oath in the swearing-in ceremony.”
He further said: “The senior leaders including Surjewala, Siddaramaiah, and Sushilkumar Shinde addressed the new legislators. They asked the new MLAs to work to implement the five guarantees announced by the party and all the government programmes.”
Sharath also told South First: “I am not an aspirant for the Cabinet berth. I will continue to work towards delivering the promises made for the people of my segment.”
Belagavi Rural MLA Laxmi Hebbalkar told reporters: “The senior leaders appealed all the newly elected MLAs to work for the development of their respective segments.”
“The high command has to give at least three cabinet berths to Belagavi as the district has 18 assembly seats, which has the second highest assembly seats after Bengaluru. We hope that the party provides proper representation for the district,” Hebbalkar demanded three cabinet posts for Belagavi MLAs.