Congress chief and the leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has not been invited to the G20 gala dinner being hosted by the President on Saturday, his office has said. Mr Kharge holds a cabinet minister rank, and is the president of the country’s largest opposition party.
Sources said no leader of any other political party has been invited either.
All cabinet and state ministers, and all Chief Ministers, have been invited to the dinner. All Secretaries to the Government of India and other distinguished guests, including big industrialists, are also on the guest list.
Former Prime Ministers Dr Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda were also invited.
Bihar’s Nitish Kumar, Hemant Soren from Jharkhand, Mamata Banerjee from West Bengal, MK Stalin from Tamil Nadu, Arvind Kejriwal from Delhi, and Bhagwant Mann from Punjab are among the Chief Ministers who have confirmed they will attend the dinner gala.
All invited guests have been asked to reach the Parliament House tomorrow at quarter to six in the evening. Special transport arrangements have been made from there to take them to Bharat Mandapam and back.
This was done due to VVIP movement and traffic restrictions.
The convoys of invited guests will not go till Bharat Mandapam.
Delhi Police has drawn up the itinerary to bring all the Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State, Chief Ministers, Secretaries, and other special guests from their residence to Parliament House.
The gala dinner will take place at the multi-function hall of the Bharat Mandapam, the revamped India Trade Promotion Organisation complex at Delhi’s Pragati Maidan, which has a huge capacity. There will be a short cultural programme accompanying the gala dinner, Muktesh Pardeshi, who is a special secretary (operations) of the G20 and is heading the operations and logistics for the summit, told NDTV in an exclusive interview.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will welcome the leaders of all countries individually at the venue, where he will also host a working lunch for them on Saturday, officials said.
Two sessions are scheduled to be held at Bharat Mandapam on Saturday, and PM Modi will reach the venue at 9 am.
There will be 40-plus delegations headed by presidents, prime ministers and, in some cases, their foreign ministers, as well as international organisations led by their secretary generals or executive directors.
Each delegation will have 150 to 200 people on average. Adding security personnel, media representatives, people involved in catering and others would mean that nearly 10,000 people will be at Bharat Mandapam on Saturday and Sunday, Muktesh Pardeshi said.