NEW DELHI: Unlike Karnataka, where the oath-taking of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in May 2018 had become a grand show of opposition unity, the swearing-in ceremony of Uddhav Thackeray as Maharashtra Chief Minister on Thursday is unlikely to see the presence of many opposition leaders.
The invitation for the ceremony has gone to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, chief ministers of all Congress-ruled states, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, DMK chief M K Stalin and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, but most of them are unlikely to attend, said sources.
“The Congress president may send senior party leadership for the swearing-in ceremony,” said a party source, adding she may choose to avoid sharing stage with Thackeray.
After reports of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi skipping the ceremony, Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray flew down to Delhi and met the Congress chief at her residence.
He separately met and former PM Manmohan Singh, too, for the swearing-in.
After staking claim to form a government, Uddhav had thanked Sonia for coming on board to support the Shiv Sena for government formation in Maharashtra.
“I want to thank Sonia ji also. Parties with different ideologies have come together. We are giving a new direction to country by keeping faith in each other. Those who were friends for 30 years did not trust us. But those against whom we fought for 30 years have trusted me,” he had said.
Thackeray had a brief meeting too with Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence in the national capital.
The Congress party tweeted a photo of the two leaders from its official Twitter handle.
Aaditya is the second Thackeray to visit 10, Janpath.
In July, his uncle and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray had met Gandhi at her residence to garner support for his demand to switch back to paper ballots while conducting elections.
From Gandhi's residence, Aaditya Thackeray reached Singh's residence and invited the former prime minister for the swearing-in ceremony of his father.
Senior Sena leader and Uddhav Thackeray's close confidant Milind Narvekar was also with Aaditya during his meeting with the two leaders.
Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal is unlikely to attend the swearing-in ceremony on Thursday, sources said.
"Kejriwal will not be able to attend the swearing in ceremony in Maharashtra due to prior engagements tomorrow," an official in the chief minister's office said.
Last year, most opposition leaders had shared the stage at H D Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in in Bangalore.
(With PTI Inputs)