With a bevy of guests arriving at the foreground of the Rashtrapati Bhawan for the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, on Thursday, made an entrance accompanied by his mother and UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi.
Waving to the arrived guests, Rahul Gandhi smiled for the cameras as he took his designated seat net to his mother. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad was seen seated next to Rahul Gandhi while former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was seen seated next to Sonia Gandhi.
As per schedule, Prime Minister Modi will take the oath for the post at 7 in the evening on May 30. An estimate of 8000 guests including foreign dignitaries, VVIPs, state Chief Ministers, state unit chiefs of BJP, state ministers, present members of Parliament, former members of the Parliament and other special guests will be attending the ceremony.
A few who will be absent from the evening's proceedings are Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, Telangana Chief KC Rao, Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan Mohan Reddy, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan
Rahul Gandhi has been lately in the news as he has stoutly refused to take back his resignation as Congress president, which he tendered after the Congress suffered a massive defeat in Lok Sabha elections managing to gather just 52 seats in the recent general elections, which is just eight more than 2014 while BJP alone won 303 seats - its highest tally ever.
A host of political leaders like DMK Chief M K Stalin, Sheila Dikshit, Tarun Gogoi, Siddaramaiah, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Tej Pratap Yadav, Lalu Yadav, JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy have urged Rahul Gandhi to stay as the Congress president.
Many Congress state chiefs and leaders have urged Gandhi to remain as Congress president, with Maharashtra Congress making an appeal to Congress president Rahul Gandhi withdraw his resignation from his post, at the same time taking responsibility for the 'disappointing and shocking' Lok Sabha 2019 election results.
The Punjab Congress to has passed a unanimous resolution urging Rahul Gandhi to continue as the Congress president and blamed the BJP's narrative of the brand of nationalism for its failure in the Lok Sabha elections.