The CPM, which had fielded candidates against the Congress in the Karnataka Assembly polls, is crying foul about its sole chief minister being not invited to the swearing-in on Saturday although party general secretary Sitaram Yechury is on the list of invitees.
CPM politburo member Prakash Karat warned that Opposition unity would not make much headway if the Congress continued with its “approach”.
“For the oath-taking ceremony they have invited various Opposition leaders and some of the chief ministers of the non-BJP-ruled states. But they have not invited the Kerala chief minister,” he said at the commemoration of the 19th death anniversary of former Kerala chief minister E.K. Nayanar in Kannur on Friday.
“They have not invited the Telangana chief minister, K. ChandrashekarRao, and one or two others,” Karat added. Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy has been left out, too.
On the invitee list are Sharad Pawar (NCP), M.K. Stalin (DMK), Nitish Kumar (JDU), Mamata Banerjee (Trinamul), Tejashwi Yadav (RJD), Hemant Soren (JMM), Uddhav Thackeray (Shiv Sena), Naveen Patnaik (BJD) and Akhilesh Yadav (Samajwadi Party). Congress chief ministers and senior leaders will be present.
Karat suggested that the reason for not inviting some of the Opposition chief ministers was perhaps that the Congress had fought their parties in their states.
“If this approach does not change, and it (the Congress) looks for narrow interestsin one state and decides what will the approach be to Opposition unity, then there cannot be much headway (in forging Opposition unity),” he cautioned.
Karat, however, added that CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, who is among the invitees, would be attending the event in the interests of Opposition unity.
Kerala leader of the Opposition and Congress veteran V.D. Satheesan defended his party.
“It is the AICC that decides on the invitees and it has already explained that only party leaders have been invited,” he said.
The CPM had fielded three candidates in the recent Karnataka Assembly polls in alliance with the JDS.
The party had a total vote share of 0.06 per cent in Karnataka, according to the Election Commission website.