Soon after assuming office as 28th chief minister of Karnataka on Monday, Siddaramaiah, 65, announced Rs. 4,410-crore bonanza for the poor, SC/STs, OBCs, minorities and farmers.
The backward class leader was sworn-in as the CM by governor HR Bhardwaj at a grand ceremony attended by 50,000 supporters at the Kanteerava Stadium. Soon after taking oath in the name of ‘truth’, the CM rushed to the Vidhan Soudha where he held a meeting of chief secretaries and other officials, before rushing out again to announce the “implementation of the party’s manifesto”.
He announced loan waivers of total R1,225 crore. The move he said would affect 10.3 lakh people of weaker sections.
Also, he announced 30 kg rice at R1 a month for people below the poverty line from June. The move, said to benefit 98.17 lakh people, would cost the state exchequer R460 crore annually.
Siddaramaiah also said he would revoke the ban on cow slaughter that had been imposed by the previous BJP government.
Cabinet by Friday
Announcing that the ministry would be formed by Thursday or Friday, the CM said, “It will be a balanced Cabinet”. Siddaramaiah added ministry formation was always a difficult exercise, as ministerial aspirants intensified lobbying for berths and seniors for plum portfolios. Siddaramaiah said he will go to Delhi on Tuesday or Wednesday to discuss the issue with party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi.