For the first time in quite a sometime, Congress party had some moments to cheer for when three of their leaders took oath as the Chief Ministers of three major Hindi heartland state on Monday. The grandly planned oath taking ceremonies in Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh and Madhya Pradesh did not only serve as the celebration of Congress party’s victory but also as a platform to showcase opposition unity.
Opposition leaders from across the country, from North to South and East to West, took part in the oath taking ceremonies. National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, his party leader Praful Patel, former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Chandrababu Naidu, DMK leader M K Stalin and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav are among those who attended the events.
However, taking away much of its sheen, three major opposition leaders namely, Mamata Benerjee, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati were missing. Though, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had sent party lawmaker Dinesh Trivedi to attend the Madhya Pradesh event. Asked whether he was carrying any message for the function, Mr Trivedi told PTI, “There is no message as such. My going there is a message itself”.
Mamata Banerjee is likely to play a pivotal role in 2019 with a strong hold over WB. The duo of Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati has also proved effective in various by-elections of Uttar Pradesh. If the opposition is to present a challenge to the BJP in 2019, these three are must needed.
Speaking about the absence of the three, newky appointed Madhya Pradesh CM, Kamal Nath said that “Mayawati and Mamata Banerjee had genuine reasons.”