Former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani will not attend the silver jubilee celebrations of the Delhi Assembly on December 15. The senior BJP leader sent a note of regret to Vidhan Sabha speaker Ram Niwas Goel on December 11, Delhi Assembly sources said.
In Advani’s absence, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will be the chief guest. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia will be the guest of honour. According to sources, Advani had earlier written to the Speaker, confirming that he will attend the ceremony and address the house. However, BJP members confirmed that Advani will not be attending Saturday’s ceremony.
Goel had told The Indian Express that choosing Advani, one of the co-founders of the BJP, as the chief guest had no political significance: “He is one of the most senior politicians and among the most experienced we have today. He was the first chairman of the erstwhile Delhi Metropolitan Council between 1966-70.”
Before the Delhi Assembly came into being in 1993, following the enactment of the Government of National Capital Territory Act, a Metropolitan Council governed the capital.
The Speaker had also reached out to other leaders who were part of either the Metropolitan Council or the Assembly. This included now Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi and senior BJP leader Vijay Malhotra. According to sources, Mukhi will be in Delhi on Saturday, but will not attend.
Invitations were also sent to former Delhi chief ministers Sheila Dikshit and Sushma Swaraj. Sources said there was no clarity on whether they will attend.