Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray may be the biggest critic of the Narendra Modi government, but he is not ready to join the opposition ranks yet. On Tuesday, he “politely declined” the invitation to attend the swearing-in ceremony of JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy as Karnataka chief minister. A senior party leader said Thackeray was busy with campaigning for the upcoming Palghar Lok Sabha bypoll in Maharashtra.

JD(S) chief H D Deve Gowda called Thackeray on Tuesday and extended an invite for his son’s oath-taking ceremony, Sena MP Sanjay Raut told PTI.

“However, Uddhavji politely declined and extended his best wishes to the new government,” he said.

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“Uddhavji told him he was very busy with the Palghar bypoll and hence, would not be able to attend the ceremony. These elections are very important for us,” Raut added.

The by-election to the Palghar Lok Sabha seat is scheduled to be held on May 28.

Kumaraswamy will be sworn-in as the Karnataka CM of the JD(S)-Congress coalition government on Wednesday. The ceremony will be attended by many Opposition leaders and chief ministers.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G Parameshwara will take oath as the Deputy Chief Minister.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi, his mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, chief ministers of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Kerala — Mamata Banerjee, N Chandrababu Naidu, Arvind Kejriwal and Pinarayi Vijayan — are among those who are likely to be present.

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CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, one of the most vocal votaries of an anti-BJP alliance, Tejashwi Yadav, Leader of the Opposition in Bihar Assembly, and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah are also likely to attend, besides BSP chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav.