Even as the Maha Vikas Aghadi's leader Uddhav Thackeray is all set to take oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister on Thursday (28 November), Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi and her son and former party chief Rahul Gandhi are set to give the swearing-in ceremony in Mumbai's Shivaji Park a miss.
In a letter to Thackeray, Sonia Gandhi said, "(Uddhav's son) Aaditya met me yesterday and extended your invitation to attend the swearing-in ceremony this evening in Mumbai. I regret that I am unable to be present at the function."
The Shiv Sena chief's son and newly-won MLA Aaditya Thackeray flew to Delhi and met her and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday night to seek their "blessings" and invite them for the swearing in ceremony.
Sonia Gandhi also said that the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress have come together under quiet extraordinary circumstances at a time when the country faces unprecedented threats from the BJP. "The political atmosphere has become poisonous and the economy has collapsed. Farmers are facing great distress," she said, adding that the three parties have agreed to a common minimum programme and she was confident that all three parties will strive their utmost to implement that programme in letter and spirit.
Stressing unity of the alliance, she said: "The people of Maharashtra expect the alliance to provide cohesive, purposeful, responsible, responsive and transparent administration and our collective effort will undoubtedly be to ensure that these expectations are fulfilled."
According to Congress sources, the party chief is skipping the swearing-in ceremony due to her health issues.
Expressing regret about not being able to attend the swearing-in ceremony at Shivaji Park, Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi expressed confidence that the Aghadi alliance will be able to give Maharashtra a "stable, secure and pro-poor government".
Meanwhile earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi, asked if he was going to attend the swearing in ceremony, quipped, "Some suspense should be there."
Party sources, however, said that both the Gandhis have conveyed their best wishes to the new government.
The Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)-Congress have forged the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance in the state after series of parleys between their leaders after a month long drama in the state over government formation. President's rule was imposed in the state on 12 November after none of the parties were able to form the government.
The President's rule was removed on Saturday (23 November) after Devendra Fadnavis took oath as Chief Minister along with NCP supremo Sharad Pawar's nephew Ajit Pawar surprising the three parties. The three parties then approached the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court then ordered the Governor to hold a floor test by Wednesday. However, a day before the crucial floor test, Ajit Pawar and Fadnavis both resigned.
(With inputs from IANS)
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.