Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

New Delhi: A day after assuming office as Karnataka Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah on Sunday said he would prefer books over flowers or shawls given by people as a mark of respect at various events.

Taking to his official Twitter account, Siddaramaiah said, “I have decided not to accept flowers or shawls from people who often give it as a mark of respect. This is for during both personal and public events.” 

People can give books if they want to express their love and respect in the form of gifts, the Congress leader said. 

“May all your love and affection continue to be on me,” he added.

Siddaramaiah also asked Bengaluru police to take back zero traffic protocol for him, a decision, he said he took in view of the problems faced by people.

“I have taken the decision after seeing the problems faced by the people travelling along the stretch where there are restrictions due to ‘zero traffic’,” he tweeted.

Siddaramaiah was sworn in as Karnataka Chief Minister in a grand ceremony in Bengaluru on Saturday, while State Congress President DK Shivakumar took oath as his deputy, along with eight legislators as Ministers. A galaxy of opposition leaders, including Chief Ministers of some non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled States, took part in the mega event signifying solidarity with the Congress party to take on the saffron camp in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Siddaramaiah, 75, became the CM for the second time after his earlier five-year stint from 2013.

Subsequently, the new government at its maiden Cabinet meeting, soon after the swearing-in ceremony, accorded ‘in-principle’ approval to the Congress’ five ‘guarantees’ promised before the May 10 Karnataka Assembly elections. 

Siddaramaiah, addressing a press conference, cited estimates and said implementing poll assurances would cost the exchequer about Rs 50,000 crore a year. He asserted that the pre-poll assurances would be implemented notwithstanding the financial implications, if any.

In the elections to the 224-member Assembly, the Congress scored an emphatic victory by bagging 135 seats, while the BJP and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) secured 66 and 19 seats respectively.

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