Congress’s bid to bring together opposition parties ahead of the Lok Sabha polls next year is visible in the invitation list for the swearing-in ceremony of the new Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar in Bengaluru on May 20.
Among the state heads and other party chiefs who have been invited to the gala occasion are reportedly Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin, Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Himachal Pradesh Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, former Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, and NC chief Farooq Abdullah.
Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal is conspicuous by his absence from the list.
Invitations have gone out to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra from Karnataka Congress as well. The ceremony will reportedly take place at 12.30 pm.
Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal had said earlier on Thursday (May 18) that people from “like-minded parties” would be invited to take part in the ceremony. “We will invite people from like-minded parties to take part in the swearing-in ceremony in Karnataka,” he said.
My heartfelt congratulations & wishes to Sh. @siddaramaiah for his new role as next Chief Minister of #Karnataka & equally warm wishes to Sh. @DKShivakumar , the new Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka.
It was an enriching experience to struggle alongside you for the rights &… pic.twitter.com/0mZEBKuKru
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) May 18, 2023
Picture of unity
After five days of hectic parleys, the party finally succeeded in arriving at a consensus on government formation in the state and hammering out a solution between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar, the two major chief ministerial aspirants.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge tweeted a picture of him holding hands with the two leaders along with the caption, “Team Congress is committed to usher progress, welfare and social justice for the people of Karnataka. We will implement the 5 guarantees promised to 6.5 Cr Kannadigas.”
Also read: How Congress broke the deadlock over Karnataka leadership row
AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka, Randeep Surjewala, too shared the picture on Twitter, congratulating the duo. He also shared a picture of Siddaramaiah, Shivakumar having a breakfast meeting with him and Congress general secretary in charge of organisation, KC Venugopal.
Shivakumar, the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee chief, called a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting in Bengaluru on Thursday evening. He wrote to all legislators, asking them to attend the meeting at the Indira Gandhi Bhavan on Queen’s Road at 7 pm.
According to sources cited by PTI, Shivakumar has said he decided to make the “sacrifice” and agreed to be deputy chief minister in the interest of the party.
(With agency inputs)