Karnataka, Kerala CMs to skip Modis swearing-in, Jaya keeps suspense on

Written by PTI | Bangalore/Thiruvananthapuram/Chennai | Updated: May 26 2014, 11:21am hrs
Congress chief ministers of Karnataka and Kerala are not attending tomorrow's swearing-in of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister while there was suspense on whether Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa will participate amid reports that she has decided to boycott it.

In Bangalore, officials said Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah will skip the oath-taking ceremony in Delhi on Monday.

According to schedule released by the CM's office, Siddaramaih will be attending several programmes in the city. Wishing Modi the all the best, Siddaramaih had last week hoped of cooperation from the center adding that irrespective of party affiliations the union government should work in accordance with the Constitution and respect the federal set up.

In Thiruvananthapuram, officials said Kerala CM Oommen Chandy is not attending the swearing-in ceremony, citing pre-scheduled engagements in the state.

According to officials in the CM's office,Chandy had received the invitation for the ceremony but informed Modi about his inability to be present on the occasion due to "pressing" engagements in the state.

Chandy, a senior Congress leader, will be meeting Modi during his next visit to Delhi, they said. Senior BJP leader O Rajagopal termed Chandy's decision to skip the ceremony as "unfortunate".

Jayalalithaa, who has opposed participation of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, kept up the suspense over her participation in the ceremony. There were reports that she is likely to boycott it. However, till late in the evening there was no official statement from the government or the ruling AIADMK on either her participation or whether she would depute any emissary.

Last week, Jayalalithaa dubbed as "unfortunate" Modi's invitation to Rajapaksa for his swearing-in, saying the "ill-advised" move could have been avoided as it amounted to "rubbing salt into the wounds of the already deeply injured Tamil psyche."

She had recalled the various resolutions passed in the state Assembly demanding an economic embargo on Sri Lanka among others over the alleged war crimes by the island nation's Army under the Rajapaksa government against Tamils there during the final stages of "civil war".