[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]N[/dropcap]itish Kumar’s swearing-in ceremony at the historic Gandhi Maidan will be a show of Opposition unity and a reflection on the future direction of the anti-BJP mobilisation across the country. This is the first time that a Chief Minister will take oath at the Gandhi maidan which can accommodate nearly four million people. The choice of the venue clearly shows that the Nitish wants to turn the occasion into a mega public show and send a clear message to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi that a credible challenge to his leadership has finally arrived.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar is also sending an invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, it is highly unlikely that the PM would attend the function after BJP’s massive defeat at the hands of Nitish.
Sources said that majority of chief ministers of non-BJP ruled states are expected to take part in the swearing-in ceremony. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi are likely to be present. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and West Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the two leaders who had openly backed Nitish during the election campaign, will also be there.
Though Samajwadi party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who walked out of the Janata Parivar on the eve of the assembly polls and put up a Third Front to cut into the Grand Alliance votes, may not have the face to attend the function, his son and Uttar Pradesh Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav is expected to reach out to Nitish by marking his presence.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]S[/dropcap]pecial focus will be on the BJP allies like Akali Dal, Shiv Sen and Telugu Desam Party. Both Nitish and Lalu share an excelent rapport with Akali Dal supremo Prakash Singh Badal, and as such his presence is taken for granted. TDP supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has also been a popular figure in the non-BJP camp despite being a part of the NDA. Naidu is also expected to attend the function. Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray would have love to be present at Nitish’s swearing-in to rub salt in BJP’s wounds since both the allies are involved in an acrimonious power-sharing alliance in Maharashtra. But Sena is highly unpopular in Bihar because its cadres have often assaulted Bihari workers in Mumbai. Thackeray could be jeered and booed if he ventures out of Mumbai and lands in Patna.
AIADMK head and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha may skip the occasion due to health reasons, but DMK may send Karunanidhi’s heir apparent M K Stalin to attend the occasion.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar is also sending an invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, it is highly unlikely that the PM would attend the function after BJP’s massive defeat at the hands of Nitish. Some would argue that it would be a pleasant surprise if the Prime Minister of the country attends a swearing in ceremony after a bitterly contested election, if his calendar is open.
By all indication, November 20 will be a historic day since , for the first time after the drubbing of Lok sabha polls, the opposition will come together on one platform to send a message to the BJP-led NDA that the Bihar outcome has for ever changed the dynamics of Indian politics.