Mayawati, Akhilesh to skip Kamal Nath’s swearing-in ceremony, depute local leaders
Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati will not attend the swearing-in ceremony of Kamal Nath as the Congress chief minister in Madhya Pradesh on Monday, leaders of both parties indicated on Sunday.
The move comes despite the BSP having extended support to the Congress in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and the SP backing the Congress in Madhya Pradesh. The Congress has won a majority on its own in Chhattisgarh.
Akhilesh Yadav has nominated the party’s sole Madhya Pradesh MLA Rajesh Kumar ‘Babloo Shukla’ to attend Kamal Nath’s swearing-in ceremony. In a tweet on Sunday evening, he conveyed his greetings to Kamal Nath for the ceremony. “Heartiest congratulations to Kamal Nathji for his swearing-in as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh. Our Bijawar MLA Rajesh Kumar will attend the ceremony and symbolise our support and greetings.”
Meanwhile, a BSP leader said party MLAs and the office bearers of the BSP unit will attend the swearing-in ceremony of Kamal Nath at Bhopal.
The BSP has two MLAs in Madhya Pradesh and six in Rajasthan. People familiar with the matter said the Congress had offered to have the BSP join the government in both the states to strengthen the opposition unity before the 2019 Lok Sabha election but Mayawati has maintained a silence on the issue.
Announcing her support to Congress in both the states, she had, however, condemned its policy and ideology, adding that the BSP decided to extend support to the Congress in both the states to prevent the BJP from grabbing power. On Sunday, Akhilesh Yadav also said his party’s support to the Congress in MP was only for the sake of keeping the BJP out. “We have lent support to the Congress in MP for the sake of democracy and secularism,” he said.
Mayawati and Akhilesh had shared the dais at the swearing-in ceremony of Karnataka’s Janata Dal (Secular) chief minister HD Kumaraswamy in Bengaluru in May, where a show of Opposition unity was on display.
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