Opposition leaders at Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren's oath-taking ceremony in Ranchi on Sunday. Photo/ANI
Opposition leaders at Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren's oath-taking ceremony in Ranchi on Sunday. Photo/ANI

Soren oath-taking fails to project Opposition unity, UP leaders give a miss

ANI | Updated: Dec 29, 2019 15:38 IST

Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India], Dec 29 (ANI): The divide in the Opposition ranks was clearly visible at Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren's swearing-in as several parties and key leaders skipped the event which was earlier predicted as a mega display of Opposition unity.
No senior leader from opposition parties from UP - Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) or state Congress, attended the event.
While SP chief Akhilesh Yadav was addressing a press conference at the time, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Congress general secretary of the state, was also in Lucknow.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who was personally invited by Soren, and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not turn out at Mohrabadi Ground in Ranchi. The party, which won 16 seats in the state, was represented by Rahul Gandhi.
From Maharashtra, Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray also gave the event a miss.
Chief Ministers of as many as six non-BJP ruled states had confirmed their presence but only half of them graced the occasion. Chief Ministers Kamal Nath of Madhya Pradesh, Arvind Kejriwal of Delhi and Uddhav Thackeray of Maharashtra chose to stay away.
A galaxy of other opposition leaders including Congress' P Chidambaram, a strong critique or the Centre's economic policies, KC Venugopal, Harish Rawat and Ahmed Patel and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu also remained absent on the occasion.
However, Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee, Bhupesh Baghel and Ashok Gehlot graced the swearing-in ceremony. DMK chief MK Stalin, MP Kanimozhi, Sharad Pawar, Tejashwi Yadav, CPI's D Raja, CPM's Sitaram Yechury and others were present.
The swearing-in was expected to turn into a big display of Opposition unity, similar to the gathering in Bengaluru in May 2018 when Janata Dal (S) leader HD Kumaraswamy took office as Karnataka Chief Minister.
Hemant Soren has taken oath as 11th Chief Minister of the state, unseating BJP's Raghubar Das. (ANI)

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