Ceremony turns into a grand show of Congress unity
Party's key State leaders show solidarity with Siddu; BJP, JD(S) keep away
There was a good show of strength of Congress leaders and workers when Siddaramaiah took the oath of office as chief minister on Monday. While senior leaders just remained spectators, the second rung leaders who are aiming for cabinet berths tried their best to show their faces to the chief minister and offer him garlands.
Siddaramaiah is the 22nd chief minister of the State. He took oath in the name of ‘truth’ amidst a sea of humanity.
Governor H R Bhardwaj administered the oath of office and secrecy to Siddaramaiah. The constitutional obligation was completed in just five minutes. But chaos took centrestage as thousands of his supporters gathered inside and outside the stadium to cheer their leader.
Among political leaders present were former chief ministers M Veerappa Moily, S M Krishna, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, AICC General Secretary Madhusudan Mistry and AICC observer Luizinho Faleiro.
Union Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, who lost the race for chief ministership to Siddaramaiah, tried his best to sport a smile when he greeted Siddaramaiah.
Two other union ministers - Rahman Khan and K H Muniyappa - were also present.
No senior leader from the BJP or the JD(S) was present at the ceremony. Bangalore North MP D B Chandre Gowda was the sole representative from the BJP at the function. Gowda had snapped his three decade-long association with the Congress to join the BJP in 2009.
Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, who is seen as the person who denied chief ministership to Siddaramaiah when he was in the JD(S), stayed away from the function.
There was no separate enclosure or seating arrangements for Siddaramaiah’s family.
While his elder son Rakesh attended the function, his wife Parvati and younger son Yatindra, a doctor, did not.
Siddaramaiah, dressed in a silk jubba and dhoti, came to the specially decked up stage at 11:20 am and a roar reverberated through the crowd. There was a show of camaraderie by several senior Congress leaders including D K Shivakumar, R V Deshpande, Roshan Baig and G Parameshwara, who greeted Siddaramaiah obviously to please the crowd, most of whom had come from Siddaramaiah’s home constituency of Varuna in Mysore district.
Seating arrangements had been made on the right side of the podium for the new legislators.
However, most of them remained unoccupied, with only around 50 legislators attending the function.
At 11:38 am, Chief Secretary S V Ranganath took permission from the Governor to start the swearing-in ceremony. Soon, the entire stadium stood up for the national anthem followed by the swearing in. Bhardwaj then greeted Siddaramaiah with a bouquet.
A section of the crowd insisted that Siddaramaiah speak after the ceremony.
However, he refused and soon left the venue after the Governor.