Telangana CM-elect Revanth Reddy’s swearing-in today, INDIA bloc leaders to attend
Top Congress leaders, including party chief Mallikarjun Kharge, ex-chief Sonia Gandhi, and others, will also attend the event.
The ongoing turbulence in the opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) may temporarily take a back seat as a number of leaders of the 28 party-coalition are expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Telangana chief minister-elect Revanth Reddy in Hyderabad on Thursday.
According to a Congress functionary aware of the details, Reddy, who steered the Congress to its first victory in Telangana, dialled a number of opposition leaders over the past two days and personally requested them to attend the ceremony.
“Most of them (opposition leaders) assured him that their party will be represented at the ceremony. Some of the leaders are expected to travel in the same flight as senior Congress leader Sonia Gandhi,” the functionary said, seeking anonymity.
Besides Gandhi, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge and other top party leaders will attend the event, the functionary added.
A Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader confirmed that Reddy called on West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee to personally invite her for the event. “He called Banerjee personally and requested her to come for the swearing-in ceremony. Since Banerjee has pre-scheduled programmes, she told Reddy that a senior leader from her party will represent the TMC at the event,” the TMC leader, who did not wish to be named, said.
In the last three days, the Congress has come under pressure from its INDIA allies, who want discussions on seat-sharing for next year’s Lok Sabha elections to start immediately.
The development comes against the backdrop of the Congress’s setback in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh – three Indian states where it was directly pitted against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The Congress had stalled seat-sharing talks in anticipation of a good performance in the assembly elections that could have put it at an advantage in any negotiations, and had refused to have any informal arrangements in the three states. That strategy appeared to have backfired as the Congress lost its governments in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, and failed to dislodge the BJP in Madhya Pradesh.
The Congress’s plan to hurriedly call a meeting of the INDIA allies on Wednesday also crashed after at least three non-Congress chief ministers and a former CM refused to join the meeting, prompting the grand old party to call for a coordination meeting of parliamentary party leaders of the bloc instead.
The Congress tried to use Reddy’s oath-taking ceremony to defuse the ongoing tension among the INDIA allies, party leaders said.
According to a senior non-Congress leader, Reddy was told by his party to invite top Opposition leaders.
Reddy heads the Telangana unit of the party and was instrumental in the Congress trouncing the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) in the recently concluded assembly elections, the first time in two decades that it had bested a regional force.
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