Congress troubleshooter D.K. Shivakumar, 58, took reins of the party's Karnataka unit as president in style, with hundreds of party leaders and cadres witnessing the spectacle across the state through live streaming under the shadow of Covid cloud on Thursday.
"Shivakumar took oath as the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president on 'Pratigna Dina' (Day of Oath) in Kannada at the party office in compliance with the lockdown guidelines, which restricted the gathering to about 50 people," party leader M.A. Saleem told IANS here.
Party's General Secretary K.C. Venugopal, party's newly-elected Rajya Sabha member from the state Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah, former state chief Dinesh Gundu Rao, former Union Minister Rehman Khan and party's women's wing head Pushpa Amarnath were present on the occasion.
The over 2-hour long event began with the party's rank and file paying homage to 20 martyrs of the Indian Army who died in a clash with Chinese soldiers in Ladakh's Galwan Valley on June 15.
After 'Vande Mataram' recital invoking the motherland, party's state unit working president Saleem Ahmed welcomed the august gathering at the venue and all who watched the event remotely from across the southern state.
As per the party's tradition, Gundu Rao handed over the Congress flag to Shivakumar, who sported a white cap.
Venugopal delivered the inaugural speech and he was followed by Gundu Rao, Shivakumar, Kharge, Siddaramaiah, party's leader in Legislative Council S.R. Patil and Working Presidents Eshwar Khandre and Satish Jarkiholi.
"Khan administered the oath to all party members on the Preamble of the Constitution and Shivakumar took the party's pledge," said Saleem.
Terming the event historic, Shivakumar said in Kannada though he took charge in the presence of a few party leaders due to restriction on a large gathering, hundreds of party leaders and cadres joined him in the virtual world from 7,800 places across the state through live streaming.
"Hundreds of our party members and supporters watched the event from their homes, panchayats, civic offices and civic wards across the state, wearing masks and maintaining social distance," asserted Shivakumar.
Though Shivakumar was appointed on March 11, he could not take charge since then, due to the lockdown.
Shivakumar's appointment came three months after Gundu Rao resigned on December 9 following the party's debacle in the Assembly by-elections on December 5, in which only 2 out of the 15 candidates won, while the ruling BJP got 12.
Shivakumar is a legislator from the Kanakapura assembly segment.
His brother D.K. Suresh is the party's Lok Sabha member from the Bangaluru Rural constituency for the second time. He was the party's only candidate to have retained the seat, while 20 others lost in the May 2019 general elections.
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