New Delhi: Despite an upheaval in the party after its massive defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad will attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on May 30 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
However, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot will not join his party leaders at the event.
President Ram Nath Kovind will administer the oath of office and secrecy to the prime minister and other members of the Union Council of Ministers at a ceremony on Thursday at 7pm.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is also expected to be in attendance.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday had said she would be attend the ceremony, citing ‘constitutional duty’. But a day later, she withdrew after the BJP invited the family of its workers killed during poll violence in the state.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen patnaik will also give the ceremony a miss. The BJD leader, who was sworn in on Wednesday, had invited Modi to Bhubaneswar. But the prime minister did not attend the event.
"The newly elected members of the 16th Vidhan Sabha (Assembly) will take oath tomorrow. As leader of the House, the chief minister will be present during the occasion. So, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will not be able to visit Delhi tomorrow to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the prime minister and his council of ministers," said an official communique issued by the Chief Minister's Office on Wednesday. "The Chief Minister has conveyed his good wishes to the Prime Minister and his council of ministers."
Apart from national leaders, the presidents of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday were among a host of foreign dignitaries who confirmed their attendance for the swearing-in ceremony. The prime ministers of Nepal, Mauritius and Bhutan as well as the special envoy of Thailand have also confirmed their participation at the event, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
The Congress party has appeared to be in turbulence after receiving a drubbing in the elections. While Rahul Gandhi has expressed his desire to step down from his post, senior leaders have been convincing him to not resign.