EXC: Karnataka swearing-in likely on May 18; dyCM, Muslim face on cards

Sources in Congress say new Karnataka Cabinet is likely to be sworn in on May 18

BENGALURU | Updated: 15 May, 2023 3:08 pm IST
Central Congress leaders are expected to take a decision on the CM's post by Monday.

BENGALURU: Congress’ new chief minister in Karnataka is likely to take oath along with a deputy on May 18, sources told The New Indian on Monday even as the party continued to a grueling exercise to zero in on the CM face.

Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot will administer the oath of office to at least 30 Congress MLAs and MLCs in Bengaluru, who will serve as state ministers. Additionally, four ministers are expected to be inducted into the state Cabinet later.

Sunni Ulma board chairman Shfi Sadi has demanded that the Congress reciprocate the support by appointing a Muslim deputy chief minister and five other MLAs from the community as ministers in portfolios such as home, revenue, and education.

“We already said before the elections that the deputy chief minister should be a Muslim and that 30 seats be given to us… We got 15, and nine Muslim candidates have won. In about 72 constituencies, the Congress won purely because of the Muslims. We, as a community, have given a lot to the Congress. Now it’s time we get something in return,” Sadi stated during an emergency meeting at the Sunni Ulma board office.

The Congress is deliberating on the leadership choice as both DK Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah assert their claims for the CM’s chair after the party’s sweeping victory over the BJP in the Karnataka Assembly elections. While Siddaramaiah is seen as a front-runner, supporters of DK Shivakumar highlight his energy and vision, advocating for his appointment as CM.

The Congress held its first legislature party meeting at Bengaluru’s Shangri-La hotel on Sunday evening to arrive at a decision, but to no avail. The Karnataka CLP passed a resolution authorizing Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge to appoint the new CM, and observers have been appointed to assess the support of MLAs. The final decision will expected to be taken after discussions and deliberations with Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar in Delhi.

Meanwhile, Shivakumar has said that he is unsure of his Delhi visit owning to his birthday celebrations.

The Congress emerged victorious in Karnataka, securing 136 seats in the 224-member Assembly polls. The BJP won 65 seats, and the Janata Dal (Secular) secured 19 seats. Alongside, two independent candidates and parties like Kalyana Rajya Pragathi Paksha and Sarvodaya Karnataka Paksha each won one seat in the elections.

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