Curated By: Sumedha Kirti
Last Updated: September 08, 2023, 12:47 IST
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda have been invited to the G20 gala dinner being hosted by the President on Saturday. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who is also on the guest list, has confirmed her presence and travel plans. Meanwhile, Congress chief and the leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has not been invited for the event.
This comes after INDIA alliance leaders created a ruckus over a G20 dinner invitation from President Droupadi Murmu, which described her position as the “President of Bharat”.
Sources said that cabinet and state ministers, chief ministers all secretaries to the Government of India and other distinguished people are also on the guest list.
Kharge is a member of Parliament, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, and is the president of the grand old party. However, he is not a minister in either the central or state government. Sources said that no leader of any other political party has been invited.
Besides Banerjee, Nitish Kumar from Bihar, Hemant Soren from Jharkhand, MK Stalin from Tamil Nadu, Arvind Kejriwal from Delhi, and Bhagwant Mann from Punjab are among the chief ministers who have confirmed that they will attend the dinner gala.
Despite opposing invitation describing Droupadi Murmu’s position as ‘President of Bharat’, Mamata Banerjee’s confirmation to attend G20 dinner could be due to her friendship with Sheikh Hasina, sources said.
The Trinamool Congress chief shares a cordial relationship with Bangladesh Prime Minister, who is also likely to be present at the event. The CPI(M) too claimed Banerjee might have some “additional work” in New Delhi as was seen in the past.
“It is good she has accepted the invite as the prestige of the state is at stake and she is going there representing West Bengal,” senior Bengal BJP leader Rahul Sinha was quoted by PTI.
He claimed that Banerjee changes her public posturing depending on the turn of events. “Just one day ago, she flayed the Modi government on the issue of ‘Bharat’ in the invitation card and better sense prevailed the next day… It is an endorsement that the way Modi-ji is leading the country is the right way,” Sinha said.
CPI(M) Central Committee member Sujan Chakraborty said the invitation is from the President of Bharat and not the President of India. He said, “So, in a way this is illegal. I wonder if Mamata Banerjee is going there as the CM of West Bengal or as the CM of Paschim Banga (as the state is known in Bengali).” “I believe she has some additional work in New Delhi. Every time she goes to New Delhi, there is some other purpose,” Chakraborty added.
The G20 Summit is being held in Delhi on September 9 and September 10 under India’s presidency and several heads of state from across the world, including US President Joe Biden, are attending the event.
According to reports, all invited guests have been asked to reach the Parliament House by Saturday at quarter to six in the evening. Special transport arrangements have been made from there to take them to Bharat Mandapam and back, report in NDTV stated.
This was done due to VVIP movement and traffic restrictions. The convoys of invited guests will not go till Bharat Mandapam, the report added.
(With inputs from PTI)