Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge attended the oath-taking ceremony of Narendra Modi on Sunday, dubbing it his “constitutional duty.” The Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha also broached the possibility of congratulating the BJP leader if the two met during the event. 

“I am attending this event because of the constitutional duty. I being the LoP in the Rajya Sabha, this is my duty…” he told reporters. 

“If I meet, I will see,” he added upon being asked whether he would congratulate the Prime Minister. 

PM-designate Narendra Modi took oath for a third consecutive term at 7:15 pm at the Forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday. Seating arrangements had been made for over 8,000 guests attending the ceremony. Earlier reports indicated that the guest list would also include labourers, lawyers, doctors, artists, cultural performers, and influencers.

An ANI report quoting sources indicated that Kharge had accepted the invite after a discussion with his party and allies. The invite was extended by BJP leader Pralhad Joshi late last night. Congress leader Pramod Tiwari — the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha — said that he had not received any such missive. 

“I am the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha. I haven’t received any invitation for the swearing-in ceremony of PM-designate Narendra Modi nor have the INDIA alliance partners. To turn the ceremony into an international event, Narendra Modi is more interested in inviting foreign guests,” he said earlier on Sunday.

Reports suggest that Kharge was the only Opposition leader to attend the event. He acted as the representative of the INDIA bloc with several other members publicly turning down their invitations.

“Respected @rashtrapatibhvn. Thank you for your kind invitation. I regret that since we in the Opposition do not accept the moral legitimacy of the swearing in of Shri @narendramodi who has lost the mandate of the people, I have made a personal decision not to attend,” tweeted TMC leader Sagarika Ghosh while posting a photo of her invitation letter on X.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 09 Jun 2024, 07:48 PM IST

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