Bengaluru (PTI): Several prominent opposition leaders and Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled states will attend the swearing-in ceremony of Siddaramaiah as Chief Minister and D K Shivakumar as the Deputy Chief Minister here on Saturday as the grand old party seeks to promote opposition unity ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections.

Eight newly-elected legislators are set to take oath as Ministers along with Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar.

Prominent among those who will be the star attractions of the event are Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Tamil Nadu CM M K Stalin, Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel and former Jammu & Kashmir CM Farooq Abdullah, the sources said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, however, would be conspicuous by her absence at the event at Sree Kanteerava Stadium.

Former union minister M Veerappa Moily said the swearing-in ceremony could also be a launchpad for opposition unity and demonstration of strength and solidarity.

Congress President M Mallikarjun Kharge has also invited leaders of JMM, RJD, Shiv Sena, SP, PDP, CPI(M), CPI, MDMK, RSP, CPI(ML), VCK, RLD, Kerala Congress and IUML for the ceremony, the sources said.

Banerjee has designated TMC Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar for the programme.
"Banerjee skipping the event has come as some kind of a dampener, especially after her recent statement that in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, her party will support the Congress where it is strong," a Congress leader said.

"Wherever the Congress is strong, let them fight. We will give them support; there is nothing wrong (in that). But they also have to support other political parties," Banerjee said recently.

Her statement came soon after Congress scored the emphatic victory over the BJP in the southern state bagging 135 seats in the 224-member Assembly.

"I have been invited by the Congress president (Mallikarjun Kharge). It (Karnataka Assembly poll) was an important election. Also, I have an old friendship with him (Siddaramaiah). I will be going tomorrow," Nitish Kumar told reporters in Darbhanga on Friday.

Kumar asked journalists to hold their horses upon being repeatedly asked about a meeting of opposition leaders, which his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee has asked him to hold in Bihar.

"Let me come back from the function tomorrow. We will take a call in due course," said the JD(U) supremo, who had hinted that the meeting could be held after the election in the southern state.

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New Delhi (PTI): AAP MP Raghav Chadha thanked the Supreme Court and Rajya Sabha chairman on Monday, after his suspension from the Upper House of Parliament was discontinued.

In a video message, Chadha thanked people for their love and blessings that he received during the period of suspension.

"I had to approach the Supreme Court to get my suspension discontinued. It was after the Supreme Court's intervention that my suspension was ended. At least for 115 days, I was suspended. During those days, I could not ask your questions inside Parliament and was not able to raise your voice inside the House," he said.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader said he received a lot of love and blessings from people during the period of his suspension.

"I am happy that my suspension was ended. I am thankful to the Supreme Court and Rajya Sabha chairman for this. During the 115 days, I got a lot of love and blessings from people. I got strength from you guys. I am thankful to you from the bottom of my heart," he said.

Chadha was suspended from the Upper House in August for alleged breach of privileges.