After Mamata, Akhilesh to skip Congress’ Oppn gathering at Siddaramaiah swearing-in
LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav will not attend Karnataka Chief Minister-elect Siddaramaiah’s inauguration, a party leader said on Friday – the second major opposition leader to do so after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Siddaramaiah will be sworn in on May 20 – a development that comes a week after the Congress won 135 to 224 seats in the Karnataka assembly.
Congress allies like Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Nationalist Congress (NCP) chief Sarath Pawar and Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) are said to be attending the event in Bengaluru.
However, SP chief spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhry confirmed that Akhilesh will not attend the event due to “scheduled events in Gorakhpur and Ballia”.
“Akhilesh ji will not be able to attend the function as he already has other programs lined up. He will be in Gorakhpur tomorrow (Saturday),” he told ThePrint, adding that the party would send a letter of thanks to the Congress for the call.
The SP chief’s decision to skip the function comes in the backdrop of his hints that the party is considering fielding candidates from both Amethi and Raebareli, considered Congress strongholds.
Sources in the SP say this is the party’s attempt to avoid fueling rumors of an alliance with former ally Congress.
According to the party’s official schedule, Akhilesh is scheduled to visit Thanda village in Gorakhpur on Saturday to pay homage to former UP minister and stalwart Hari Shankar Tiwari, who died on Tuesday.
Tewari, a prominent Brahmin leader in eastern UP, became the first politician to win an election from inside a prison in 1985. He was a six-time MLA from Sillubar assembly constituency.
Tiwari enjoyed good relations with leaders across party lines throughout his political career, serving as a minister in successive state governments under Rajnath Singh (BJP), Ram Prakash Gupta (BJP), Mulayam Singh (SP) and Mayawati (BJP). Bahujan Samaj Party).
His sons Kushal Tiwari and Vijay Shankar Tiwari and their cousin Ganesh Pandey joined the SP after being expelled by the BSP in December 2021 – just ahead of the assembly elections in the state.
Akhilesh’s decision comes hours after Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee confirmed that she would skip the event. Instead, the party will be represented by TMC Member of Parliament Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar.