Karnataka’s new government is being formed, and on Saturday, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi issued a video congratulating the state’s electorate for handing the grand old party a historic victory.
“I want to thank the Karnataka people from the bottom of my heart for giving the Congress party a historic mandate. I want to reassure the Karnataka people that the Congress administration would keep its word and carry out the commitments it made to them. I am pleased that the immediate execution of our five assurances was immediately accepted at the first cabinet meeting. The official Congress Twitter account tweeted a video of Gandhi citing her and stated, “The Congress party remains devoted to the prosperity, peace, and advancement of Karnataka.
From my heart, I wish to thank the people of Karnataka for giving the Congress party a historic mandate.
I would like to reassure the people of Karnataka that the Congress government will stand by its commitment to implement the promises it made to them. I am proud that the… pic.twitter.com/7S30Siw5ZM
— Congress (@INCIndia) May 20, 2023
Congress Government’s first move
On Saturday, Congress leader Siddaramaiah took the oath of office as chief minister of Karnataka in a lavish ceremony held here. The new administration also had its first Cabinet meeting and granted its in-principle assent to carry out its election promises, which are expected to cost the exchequer approximately Rs 50,000 crore yearly. D K Shivakumar, the state Congress president, and eight other lawmakers were sworn in as ministers during the ceremony conducted precisely one week after the party won the Karnataka Assembly elections. A vast array of opposition figures, including the Chief Ministers of various States that are not governed by the BJP, participated in the mega-event to show support for the Congress party as it prepares to challenge the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections held next year. Leaders clasped hands and hugged one other at the ritual, which heralded the five-year absence of the Congress government.
Earlier, her son and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who on Saturday attended Siddaramaiah’s oath-taking ceremony held in Bengaluru, stated that the five ‘guarantees’ made by the party before the elections in Karnataka will be carried out within a few hours after the first Cabinet meeting.
हम झूठे वादे नहीं करते हैं। कर्नाटक की नई कांग्रेस सरकार पहली कैबिनेट में 5 वादे पूरे करेगी।
जो हम कहते हैं, वो हम कर दिखाते हैं। pic.twitter.com/TH2OfGKXDT
— Congress (@INCIndia) May 20, 2023
“I had stated that we don’t make empty guarantees. We abide by our word. In one to two hours, the new government’s first cabinet meeting will begin. In that meeting, all five “guarantees” will be made into laws, Gandhi promised following Siddaramaiah’s oath-taking as chief minister.
Promises from the Congress 5 poll
These guarantees are: 200 units of free power to all households (Gruha Jyoti), Rs 2,000 monthly assistance to the woman head of every family (Gruha Lakshmi), 10 kg of rice free to every member of a BPL household (Anna Bhagya), Rs 3,000 every month for unemployed graduate youth and Rs 1,500 for unemployed diploma holders (both in the age group of 18-25) for two years (YuvaNidhi) and free travel for women in public transport buses (Shakti).
Political analysts claimed that the ‘guarantees’ pledge resonated with the electorate throughout the campaign, especially women, and was a major factor in the Congress’ stunning success in the Assembly elections.
Gandhi said that the Congress triumphed in the election because it had “truth and the backing of poor people” on its side, as opposed to the BJP’s “money, power, and police.”
He also conveyed his appreciation to the Karnataka people for their unwavering support of the Congress.
“We are aware of the anguish you have endured over the past five years. The electoral victory of the Congress was discussed in the media. Numerous analysis and ideas were put forward. However, the Congress supported Dalits, tribal members, weaker communities, and other underprivileged groups, which was the cause for the triumph, according to him.
With 135 seats in the 224-member Assembly, the Congress defeated the BJP in the Assembly elections on May 10. The Janata Dal (Secular), under by former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, only garnered 19 votes, compared to the BJP’s 66.