BENGALURU (KARNATAKA): Congress leader Siddaramaiah was sworn in as the chief minister of Karnataka for the second time on Saturday after the party's thumping victory in the assembly elections.
Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot administered the oath of office and secrecy to Siddaramiah at the swearing-in ceremony held at the jam-packed Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.
This is the same stadium where Siddaramaiah took oath in 2013 when he became chief minister for the first time.
Top brass of the Congress party including the Gandhi family members - Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, party's national president Mallikarjun Kharge were present on the occasion.
The chief ministers of the Congress-ruled states including Himachal CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, and Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel attended the event.
The party had also sent an invitation to numerous opposition parties and their leaders.
Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah were also present during the swearing-in ceremony.
Other opposition leaders who were present include Sharad Pawar, Kamal Haasan.
Actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan attends the swearing-in ceremony of the newly-elected Karnataka government in Bengaluru.
Ahead of the ceremony, Rahul Gandhi, Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah were seen holding each other's hands in air as a show of strength and unity.
The Congress supporters stood outside of Siddaramaiah's residence early morning in anticipation and celebration. Posters featuring the Gandhi family, Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah were put up in Bengaluru earlier today.
A leader with strong grassroots connect, Siddaramaiah has been associated with the formulation of state budgets for several years and has an eye for detail.
Congress MLA Priyank Kharge, G Parameshwara and DK Suresh - party MP and brother of deputy-CM designate DK Shivakumar were present at the Stadium.
The Congress leadership, which had to make a choice between him and state Congress chief DK Shivakumar for the post of Chief Minister following an emphatic win in the assembly polls earlier this month, apparently felt that the former Chief Minister's wide administrative experience will come handy in implementing manifesto promises in view of their financial implication.
The CLP meeting was held at the party office in Bengaluru after Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar returned from the national capital after days of deliberation for the chief ministerial face.
Shivakumar moved a resolution to elect Siddaramaiah as a new CLP leader. All members endorsed it unanimously.
Siddaramaiah on Thursday was elected unanimously as the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader in Karnataka. Siddaramaiah met Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot staked a claim to form the government Thursday evening.
Karnataka has complex caste equations and a history of voting out incumbent governments. Only three Chief Ministers before Siddaramaiah - S Nijalingappa (1962 and 1967, three terms including 1956); D Devaraj Urs (1972 and 1978) and RK Hegde (1983 and 1985) had two terms as Chief Minister.
Siddaramaiah,74, launched several welfare schemes during his five-year tenure as Chief Minister from 2013 and it helped the Congress campaign during the assembly polls which had several people-oriented promises.During his long political career, Siddaramaiah has lost elections but has bounced back due to his strong determination and his quest for "social justice".
Siddaramaiah became the Finance Minister in the cabinet of then Karnataka Chief Minister HD Deve Gowda.
He won from Chamundeshwari in a bypoll. When assembly constituencies were reorganized in 2008, he entered the assembly from Varuna and was appointed leader of the opposition.
Congress won 135 seats in the 224-member Karnataka assembly pushing BJP to 66 seats in the results declared on May 13.