Kanteerava Stadium did deck up twice for the ceremony which ultimately took place on 20 May. On 17 May, the iconic stadium in Bengaluru was just starting to be readied for the swearing in of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, when the event was called off and rescheduled to 20 May.
The stadium bore no memories of the Chief Minister race in Karnataka, on Saturday, 20 May, when it stood tall, accommodating thousands of Congress leaders, workers, and sympathisers who had come to Bengaluru to witness the formation of Karnataka's new government. The event witnessed the presence of top politicians of Congress, including the Gandhis, and leaders of other non-BJP national parties.
The Congress had won 135 seats in the recently concluded Legislative Assembly elections and chose 75-year-old Siddaramaiah as its Chief Minister and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committe (KPCC) President DK Shivakumar as Deputy Chief Minister.
The Quint spoke to enthused workers who had gathered at the stadium to witness the event they had been waiting for ever since the Congress-JD(S) coalition government was brought down in 2019, as 17 MLAs defected to join the BJP.
'A Government for Everyone': Congress Pledges Unity
At the event, several party workers told The Quint that they hope for a government which works for all people in Karnataka, across castes and religions.
A supporter of Siddaramaiah, Jidappa Srimangi, said, "I was not difficult to travel from Belagavi and come here because I have come to see a leader – Siddaramaiah – who leads all religions and castes. Let him be blessed. In his last term he had introduced welfare schemes including Anna Bhagya and Krushi Bhagya." Mohammed Sadiq, a Congress worker from Davangere said, "I trust the Congress. If we did not have trust in the government, they would not have come to power. We believe strongly that the Congress government will fulfill its promises to the people."
At Kanteerava Stadium, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were welcomed with a rousing ovation, indicating the soaring hopes of Congress workers who want their party to perform well in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2024.
'Congress Will Win Lok Sabha': Workers at Kanteerava
As the stage for swearing in had the presence of top political leaders from other states, Congress workers were hopeful that their party would do well in Lok Sabha elections.
"We hope that the government will fulfill all the promises listed and people of Karnataka will contribute more Congress MPs to Lok Sabha than before," said Abdur Rahman, a Congress supporter said.
Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, and Jammu Kashmir National Conference President Farooq Abdullah were present at the swearing in ceremony.
Other ministers who swore in on 20 May were G Parameshwara, KH Muniyappa, KJ George, Priyank Kharge, and MB Patil.