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Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in to be opposition’s show of strength

New Delhi, May 22: The swearing-in ceremony of Karnataka Chief Minister-designate H.D. Kumaraswamy on Wednesday will be used as a “show of strength” of the opposition parties ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, in a possible line up against the BJP. But Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhara Rao decided to give the ceremony a miss and flew to Bengaluru on Tuesday to meet Kumaraswamy, apparently to avoid being seen in the company of Congress leaders.
Prominent leaders of around a dozen political parties including UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, BSP supremo Mayawati, Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, DMK leader M.K. Stalin, RLD chief Ajit Singh, CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan of Makkal Needhi Maiam are all set to share the dais on Wednesday. Besides these political heavy weights, Chief Ministers Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi), Pinarayi Vijayan (Kerala), Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal) and Chandrababu Naidu (Andhra Pradesh) are expected to attend the oath-taking ceremony. Striking a different path, Chandrasekhara Rao — who mooted the idea of an anti-BJP, anti-Congress federal front — will not be present. The effort of uniting the opposition parties gained momentum after Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party cast aside years of differences to come together to defeat the BJP in two crucial Lok Sabha bypolls in Uttar Pradesh – in seats that had been held by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita