Home NEWS Manmohan Singh, Deve Gowda to skip G20 dinner, at least 5 Oppn...

Manmohan Singh, Deve Gowda to skip G20 dinner, at least 5 Oppn CMs to attend | India News

Mamata Banerjee, MK Stalin, Arvind Kejriwal, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and Hemant Soren to be present

G20 DinnerManmohan Singh and Deve Gowda have conveyed to the government about their inability to attend the dinner. (Express photo | Twitter/@HC_Balakrishna)

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Former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and H D Deve Gowda will not attend the G20 dinner hosted by President Droupadi Murmu for world leaders on Saturday due to “health reasons”. While many Opposition chief ministers, too, are likely to skip the dinner, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjeeher Tamil Nadu counterpart M K Stalin, Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal and Jharkhand’s Hemant Soren will attend the event.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu is the only Congress Chief Minister who has confirmed his presence so far. While Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and his Karnataka counterpart Siddaramaiah are set to give the dinner a miss, it is not clear whether Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot will attend. A senior Congress leader said the party has not given any direction to its Chief Ministers on attending or skipping the dinner.

“Some may, some may not. There is no direction from the party,” a senior Congress leader.

The government has not invited Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, which has not not gone down well with the party.

Both Manmohan Singh and Deve Gowda have conveyed to the government about their inability to attend the dinner. “I will not be attending the G20 dinner… due to health reasons. I have already communicated this to the government. I wish the G20 summit a grand success,” Deve Gowda said in a post on X.

Among those who are unlikely to attend the dinner are Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Andhra Pradesh’s Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, Telangana’s K Chandrasekhar Rao, Odisha’s Naveen Patnaik.

Reddy is abroad and is scheduled to return only on September 21. Vijayan has scheduled programmes in Kerala on that day, the Chief Minister’s Office said.

While Kejriwal is set to attend, his party colleague and Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann is unlikely to attend the dinner. “He has back-to-back programmes. He is busy in Chandigarh. We have recruitment of Patwaris, police personnel and other programmes lined up. However, the Chief Minister has not yet given his mind,” said a source close to him.

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An official in Patnaik’s office also said the Odisha Chief Minister is not travelling to Delhi because of prior engagements.

There are reports that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar may attend the dinner.

Almost all the BJP-NDA Chief Ministers are expected to attend the dinner. Among them are Uttar Pradesh’s Yogi Adityanath, Assam’s Himanta Biswa Sarma, Haryana’s M L Khattar, Maharashtra’s Eknath Shinde, Gujarat’s Bhupendra Patel and Uttarakhand’s Pushkar Singh Dhami. Sources close to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said he had sought exemption because of elections. But it is not clear yet whether he will skip the dinner.

First published on: 08-09-2023 at 20:40 IST

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