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Karnataka legislators take oath in name of family deities, political gurus

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was the first to take the oath, followed by his deputy DK Shivakumar and eight cabinet minister

Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah (right)  and Karnataka Congress President D K Shivakumar	photo: pti

Photo: PTI

BS Web Team New Delhi

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After the Congress government returned to power, the first session of the 16th Karnataka Legislative Assembly began on Monday with legislators taking oath. Some newly elected Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) invoked the names of their family deity or spiritual and political gurus even as pro-term Speaker R V Deshpande said the oath should be taken only in the name of God or the Constitution, according to a report in The Times of India.

The session, which will last three days, will be restricted to the oath-taking ceremony and the election of a new speaker, which is likely to take place on Wednesday. On Day 1, 182 legislators took the oath and the rest will do so on Tuesday.

Reports indicate that there is a reluctance on Congress leaders' part to take up the speaker's post as most of them are eyeing a berth in the cabinet. The names of senior party leaders like Deshpande, H K Patil, T B Jayachandra, Basavaraj Rayareddy and K N Rajanna are currently making the rounds.

Even younger MLAs like Dinesh Gundurao and Ajay Singh are showing no inclination to be the Speaker, as their priority, too, is to become ministers.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was the first to take the oath, followed by his deputy D K Shivakumar and eight cabinet ministers. While the chief minister took oath in the name of God, his deputy took the name of his family deity, Gangadhara Ajja.

Channagiri legislator Basavaraju Shivaganga invoked the name of God and D K Shivakumar, while Mulbagal MLA Samruddhi Manjunath took oath in the name of Janta Dal (Secular) supremo H D Deve Gowda. When the BJP legislator from Sullia, Bhagirathi Murulya, tried to take oath in the name of her family deity, Congress legislator Basavaraj Rayaraddy raised his objection to it.

After the congregation of the MLAs, the pro-term speaker welcomed the newly-elected legislators and asked them to work for the development of Karnataka, setting aside their political differences.

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First Published: May 23 2023 | 1:22 PM IST

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