Even as Uddhav Thackeray prepares to be sworn in as Maharashtra Chief Minister on November 28, many leaders are choosing to give the ceremony a miss.
Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will reportedly not be able to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
He is not the only one opting to regretfully decline. According to a CNN News18 report, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will also not be attending the ceremony.
Earlier, upon being asked whether Congress president Sonia Gandhi or party leader Rahul Gandhi would attend Thackeray's swearing-in ceremony, Balasaheb Thorat said, "Nothing has been finalised so far on this."
But this might be more easily explained. The former Congress president has long attempted to distance himself from the Sena and has consistently maintained his silence on the matter.
The debacle in Karnataka, which has several parallels with the Maharashtra situation, remains fresh in people's minds. There the Congress had entered into a post-poll alliance with JD(S) in Karnataka. This later dissolved after Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy lost the vote of confidence in the Assembly.
Add to that, there are many ideological differences between the Sena and the Congress.
Indeed, the Sena in April, then allied with the BJP, had hit out at Gandhi over the Congress' promise to abolish the sedition law. At that time he had said that the BJP-Shiv Sena-Republican Party of India had come together on one ideology for the love of the nation.
"But, I want to ask why have Maha Aghadi come together who have conflicts between them. Who are these people? Our dream is for the country, what about you? Your dream is only power. Our prime minister will be Narendra Modi tomorrow also. And I want to ask the opposition to announce one name for the PM's post," Thackeray had said.
On the abolition of the sedition law , Thackeray had asked people if they agreed with the same. "Anyone who commits treason should be hanged," he had said.
"If Gandhi thinks he will come to power by supporting traitors, we will not let it happen," he had added.
This and more supports the reports that Gandhi will not be in attendance.
On Tuesday night, Sena leader Sanjay Raut had said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah will also be invited to the swearing-in ceremony.
When asked if the Prime Minister will be invited to the swearing-in ceremony, Raut told ANI, "Yes, we will invite everyone. We will even invite Amit Shah ji."
According to a report by Republic, sources claim that Maharashtra Navnirman Sena founder and Uddhav Thackeray's cousin, Raj Thackeray will also be invited to the event.
Late on Tuesday, a delegation of NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena leaders met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, following which it was announced that Uddhav Thackeray will take the oath of office and secrecy on November 28. He will be sworn in on Thursday evening at Shivaji Park in Dadar, the place where his party holds a traditional Dussehra rally each year.