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Akhilesh, Mayawati Keep Cong Guessing Amid Bid to Unite Oppn at Kamal Nath’s Swearing-in

Other senior opposition leaders who have confirmed their presence include Kerala CM and CPI(M) leader Pinarayi Vijayan, V Puducherry CM and Congress leader V Narayanasamy and senior TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi.

News18.com

Updated:December 15, 2018, 8:06 PM IST
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Akhilesh, Mayawati Keep Cong Guessing Amid Bid to Unite Oppn at Kamal Nath’s Swearing-in
Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav at HD Kumaraswamy's swearing in ceremony.
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New Delhi: Almost seven months after the swearing-in of JD(S) leader and Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, another CM's swearing-in event will turn into a massive show of strength for the national opposition.

Preparations are underway in Bhopal for the swearing-in of Madhya Pradesh's new CM Kamal Nath. However, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati, who are supporting the Congress government in the state, are yet to confirm their participation at the event. It is to be noted that the two had also not attended an opposition meet a day before the assembly election results were announced amid differences over seat sharing in UP for the 2019 general elections.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, who has taken on the mantle of bringing the opposition together, has confirmed his participation. Other senior opposition leaders who have confirmed their presence are Kerala CM and CPI(M) leader Pinarayi Vijayan, V Puducherry CM and Congress leader V Narayanasamy and senior TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi.

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi is also likely to attend the event.

Madhya Pradesh is the largest of the three in the 'Hindi heartland' states that Congress just wrested from the BJP in the recently concluded assembly elections. With 29 Lok Sabha seats, it sends more MPs to the Parliament than Rajasthan or Chhattisgarh (at present 26 of these seats are with the BJP, 3 with Congress).

It is also crucial considering the local level alliance that has just come to be here - apart from support from four independent MLAs, SP has offered one and BSP two of its MLAs to help Congress with its 114 MLAs to reach the majority mark of 116.

The Congress has managed to stitch together a mini mahagathbandhan with itself in the leading role, in what it will hope to be a model for a national opposition alliance.

With Lok Sabha elections only four months away now, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi planning a massive political campaign of 25 rallies in January alone to expand BJP's influence in places like West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, where it has yet to succeed, Kamal Nath's swearing-in ceremony could provide for a platform to the opposition to chalk out a strategy, and iron out differences in time.

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