West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee will not attend the swearing-in ceremony of Congress leader Kamal Nath as Madhya Pradesh CM, official sources said on Sunday.
There was, however, no reason cited for Banerjee not going to Bhopal for the swearing-in ceremony on Monday, an official of the Chief Minister’s Office said.
Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi will be representing the party at the event, which the Congress intends to showcase as a picture of Opposition unity.
“I have been directed by the party chief (Banerjee) to be present at Monday’s swearing-in programme,” Trivedi told PTI.
Asked whether he was carrying any message for the function, Trivedi said, “There is no message as such. My going there is a message itself.”
The Congress has invited leaders from across the political spectrum. Apart from party chief Rahul Gandhi and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav were invited.
Mamata Banerjee, who had earlier floated the idea of a federal front of regional parties, has been seen recently exchanging bonhomie with Naidu, and her counterparts from Delhi and Telangana, Arvind Kejriwal and Chandrashekar Rao respectively, apart from DMK president MK Stalin. But the same warmth has not been seen for the Congress.
Kamal Nath, a nine-time parliamentarian from Chhindwara and currently president of the Madhya Pradesh Congress, will become the first chief minister of a Congress government in the central Indian state after 15 years. Digvijaya Singh was the last Congress chief minister of the state.
The BJP had snatched power from the Grand Old Party in 2003 and went on to retain it till its narrow defeat in the recently-held Assembly election. The Congress won 114 seats in the 230-member House and has secured the support of a total 121 MLAs.