Bengaluru, May 19: Congress has not invited AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, BSP’s Mayawati, BRS’ K Chandrasekhar Rao, BJD’s Naveen Patnaik and YSR Congress’ Jaganmohan Reddy for Siddaramaiah’s swearing in on Saturday in Bengaluru where the party intends to display a show of strength of the Opposition.
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee will not attend the ceremony despite being invited to the ceremony in Kanteerava stadium but deputed Lok Sabha Deputy Leader Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar for the event.
Mamata, who “conveyed her best wishes” after Siddaramaiah and other leaders personally invited her, not sending Sudip Bandhyopadhyay or Derek O’Brien is seen as a signal by the Trinamool Congress that it is not so much thrilled by the Congress victory and it does not want to give much lee-way in Opposition politics.
Congress’ decision not to invite at least five parties to the function, sources said, is part of positioning in respective states. The Congress is at loggerheads with AAP in Punjab and Delhi where state leaders are up in arms against any sort of link with the Kejriwal-led party and had vehemently opposed when central leadership leaned towards it.
Though BRS was its comrade-in-arms in Parliament, the upcoming Telangana elections and Rao’s allegiance to the regional party bloc has generated suspicion in Congress circles. The state unit is also against any signal to BRS.
BSP’s Mayawati is another leader the Congress has not invited. BSP has so far kept itself away from any Opposition grouping in the recent past and the Congress does not consider that Mayawati is in any way inclined to join the Opposition.
YSR Congress and BJD have also scrupulously kept themselves away from the Opposition and though there are demands from a section of the Opposition, they have not given any signal.
Leaders from parties like DMK, NCP, RJD, CPI(M), CPI, Shiv Sena (UBT), JMM, National Conference and Samajwadi Party have been invited to the function. Some more parties are also on the list.
With the Congress inviting Chief Ministers like MK Stalin, Nitish Kumar, Mamata and Hemant Soren, the omission of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has raised eye-brows. Congress sources said nothing much should be read into it, as only party leaders are invited and an invite has gone to CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury.
However, there are indications that the Congress kept the political situation in Kerala in mind during discussions while preparing the invitee list.