Bangalore: Siddaramaiah, the self-professed agnostic backward class leader from the Congress, which won a simple majority in the 5 May assembly elections in Karnataka, took the oath as the state’s 28the chief minister in the name of truth.

He was sworn in on Monday at Bangalore’s Kanteerva stadium. Siddaramaiah was elected leader of the party in the assembly by the Congress Legislature Party on Friday. He has been deputy chief minister in two previous governments led by the Janata Dal and the Janata Dal (Secular), respectively. He left the Janata Dal (Secular), founded by his one-time mentor H.D. Deve Gowda, in 2005.

Siddaramaiah said he and Karnataka Congress chief G. Parameshwara will leave for New Delhi on Tuesday to discuss the expansion of the cabinet. “We should be able to swear in the cabinet ministers in two-three days", he added.

Soon after taking charge, the chief minister announced that all poll promises would be implemented in four years. The election pledges will cost the state an additional 4,409 crore this year.

These promises include the distribution of 30kg of rice per family at 1 per kg at a cost of 460 crore, an increase in the milk subsidy to 4 from 2 at a cost of 496 crore, and an increase in the subsidy for housing schemes to 1.5 lakh from 75,000 per house at an additional cost of 1,096 crore.

He also announced that loans to scheduled caste, scheduled tribe and minority corporations would be waived by the state government.

At the 5 May polls, the Congress party won 121 seats, while the ruling BJP and the Janata Dal (Secular) got 40 seats each in the 224-member assembly.

Siddaramaiah hails from Mysore and belongs to the Kuruba community, considered to be the most politically important after the Vokkaligas and Lingayats. His political career kicked off when he entered the legislative assembly on a Bharatiya Lok Dal ticket in 1983.

Impressed by his victory, then chief minister Ramakrishna Hegde invited him to join the Janata Party. He became minister for animal husbandry and veterinary services in 1985. Since then, he has handled portfolios such as sericulture, animal husbandry and transport.

Following the 2008 Karnataka election, Siddaramaiah was made the leader of the opposition in the assembly. He led the Congress campaign in the election.

Close