NEW DELHI: Leaders from various political parties are likely to be on stage to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Congress chief ministers in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh on Monday. However, the event which is being planned to showcase the 'Opposition strength' will have some conspicuous absences. Among those who are giving the event a miss are Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Banerjee, who had earlier floated the idea of a federal front of regional parties, has been seen recently exchanging bonhomie with Naidu, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Telangana CM Chandrashekar Rao but the same warmth has not been seen for the Congress. Reports though say that TMC MP Nadimul Haque will be attending the ceremony on behalf of the party.
Apart from Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the key leaders expected at the events are Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, DMK president MK Stalin, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and NCP president Sharad Pawar.
The show of strength assumes significance as it comes after Congress wrested power from the BJP in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. It is also important as it comes at a time when hectic parleys are on to stitch a grand alliance to fight the BJP.
Speaking about the event, Rajasthan Deputy CM-designate Sachin Pilot emphasised that the gathering of opposition leaders in Jaipur will give a glimpse of the 'future of politics' in the country. "Even non-Congress parties now want to see Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Minister. It is not only going to be an oath-taking ceremony but it will also give a glimpse of the future of politics in this country. This is an indication of how the politics will turn in upcoming times," he said on Monday.
"Keeping in mind the Lok Sabha elections, we need to further strengthen the Congress party. The non-BJP front is becoming stronger. The oath-taking ceremony will also be a testimony of opposition unity. BJP government is weakening the democratic institution and people want this trend to be stopped and changed," he added.