Mallikarjun Kharge attends swearing-in, but most Opposition leaders give it a miss ?

A senior leader says the Opposition avoided the ceremony because Mr. Modi resorted to hate speech and lies during his campaign and lowered the dignity of his office

Updated - June 10, 2024 06:38 am IST

Published - June 10, 2024 12:16 am IST - New Delhi

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge with Pramod Kumar Mishra, Principal Secretary to the PM, attends the swearing-in ceremony of PM-designate Narendra Modi and his cabinet, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on June 9.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge with Pramod Kumar Mishra, Principal Secretary to the PM, attends the swearing-in ceremony of PM-designate Narendra Modi and his cabinet, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on June 9. | Photo Credit: ANI

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, as Leader of the Opposition (LoP) in the Rajya Sabha, attended the oath-taking ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Council of Ministers on June 9 but prominent Opposition leaders of the INDIA bloc gave it a miss.

A senior Opposition leader told The Hindu that the decision was a well-coordinated one after senior leaders spoke to each other. They reasoned that while the Opposition needed a token representation, it should convey its disapproval. Mr. Kharge, holding a constitutional position as the LoP, represented the Opposition as a whole.

“The main reason we avoided is because Mr. Modi resorted to hate speech and lies during his campaign and lowered the dignity of his office. And the mandate was not for him,” the source said.

Another source said former Congress chiefs Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were not invited and the invitation came only to Mr. Kharge.

On June 8, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) had said the 2024 results were a “personal and moral” loss of Mr. Modi.

The party continued to target the Prime Minister, especially over the presence of industrialists Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani, at the oath-taking event.

Referring to Mr. Modi’s election speech in Telangana, where he has accused Mr. Gandhi of going silent on the industrialists after receiving tempo-loads of black money, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh took to X (formerly Twitter) to attack Mr. Modi.

“On 8th May, 2024 Narendra Modi had accused two of India’s biggest businessmen of driving tempos full of kala dhan. We had demanded immediate action by the ED. Well, those two gentlemen are now present at the swearing-in ceremony,” Mr. Ramesh said in a post.

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