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Siddaramaiah to take charge as Karnataka CM, seeks cooperation

IANS  Benagluru, May 12, 2013
First Published: 21:18 IST(12/5/2013) | Last Updated: 22:04 IST(12/5/2013)

Congress leader Siddaramaiah will take over as Karnataka chief minister on Monday, beginning the party's rule of the state on its own after a gap of nine years.

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Ahead of the swearing-in ceremony, Siddaramaiah told reporters in Mysore, about 130km from Bengaluru, that the party's election manifesto had made a number of promises and he would draw up a plan to ensure their time-bound implementation.

He sought cooperation of all sections of the society, including Dalits, as at a few places, some Dalit organisations have organised protests against what they claim as "denial" of chief ministership to union labour and employment minister Mallikarjun Kharge, a Dalit.

"I am also a Dalit," said Siddaramaiah, who belongs to Kuruba (shepherd community) caste.

Siddaramaiah said Kharge deserved the post but the high command has given the responsibility to him and all should abide by it.

Kharge also appealed to the protesting Dalits to end the agitation. He told reporters in Bengaluru that the Congress high command has taken the decision and now the focus should be on helping the party to provide good governance and not protests.

Governor HR Bhardwaj will administer the oath of office and secrecy to Siddarimaiah at Sree Kanteerva stadium in city centre.

This is the first time in Karnataka that a chief minister will be sworn-in at a stadium as work on Metro rail has taken up much of space in front of the Vidhana Soudha, the majestic state secretariat, the usual venue for such functions.

The stadium is about 3km from Vidhana Soudha.

The other possible venue would be the lawns of the Raj Bhavan, about a kilometre from Vidhana Soudha, which however cannot accommodate thousands of supporters of the 64-year-old leader from his home district Mysore and other parts of the state who want to witness the function.

Only Siddaramaiah is expected to be sworn-in on Monday as there are many aspirants for ministerial berths from among the 120 other newly elected Congress assembly members and several members of the legislative council.

Siddaramaiah, chosen on May 10 by the party to lead the government, has said that he and state Congress chief G Parameshwara would go to New Delhi on Monday to finalise the names of the ministers after consulting the party high command.

The Congress won 121 seats in the 225-member assembly for which election was held on May 5 and votes counted on May 8. The Congress last ruled the state on its own in 1999-2004. For nearly two years in 2004-2006, it headed a coalition with Janata Dal-Secular.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party was routed in the poll, winning just 40 seats, and is tied for the second spot with Janata Dal-Secular.

Independents and smaller parties have taken 22 seats while voting will take place May 28 for one seat as polling was countermanded following the death of BJP candidate.


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