With Karnataka CM post settled, Siddaramaiah, Shivakumar in Delhi to discuss cabinet formation

May 19, 2023 02:55 PM IST

The Congress has 135 lawmakers and in the first go, the party may not induct more than 30 ministers, senior party leaders said.

Karnataka chief minister-designate Siddaramaiah and his deputy DK Shivakumar arrived in the national capital on Friday to discuss the modalities of the cabinet formation with the party's high command. The duo is also expected to formally invite the top brass for the swearing-in ceremony.

Senior Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar at the residence of party leader KC Venugopal for a meeting, in New Delhi, Thursday, May 18, 2023. (PTI)
Senior Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar at the residence of party leader KC Venugopal for a meeting, in New Delhi, Thursday, May 18, 2023. (PTI)

The Congress on Thursday confirmed Siddaramaiah's name as the next chief minister of Karnataka and declared DK Shivakumar as his sole deputy in the government. During the official announcement in New Delhi, when pushed on a possible power-sharing formula, AICC general secretary KC Venugopal said: “Power sharing means sharing power with the people of Karnataka… that is all.”

Even as there was no clarity on the power-sharing formula devised for the two leaders, intense lobbying started for the council of ministers as soon as they returned to Bengaluru.

The reason for the intense lobbying was the announcement by Congress general secretary KC Venugopal that some ministers will also take oath on May 20.

Pointing at the support given by Lingayat, BJP's traditional vote bank, Dalits and Muslims in the Congress victory, a senior party leader told HT that the focus would be on providing adequate representation to all regions and taking special care of the communities which have supported the party in a big way.

Leaders of several like-minded opposition parties are likely to attend the swearing-in ceremony on Saturday in Bengaluru. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge has extended the invitation to several chief ministers and party leaders for what is seen as an opportunity to showcase the opposition's unity ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Kharge has invited Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.

According to a PTI report, the conspicuous omissions include Telangana chief minister and BRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao, Odisha CM and BJD leader Naveen Patnaik, Andhra Pradesh CM and YSRCP leader Y S Jagan Mohan and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. BSP chief Mayawati has also not received the invitation.

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