Going back on her initial decision, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday declined to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday objecting to the families of BJP workers, allegedly killed in political violence in the state, being invited to the function.
“The ceremony is an August occasion to celebrate democracy, not one that should be devalued by any political party which uses it as an opportunity to score political points. Please excuse me,
The oath-taking ceremony is an august occasion to celebrate democracy, not one that should be devalued by any political party pic.twitter.com/Mznq0xN11Q
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) May 29, 2019
“So I am sorry Narendra Modiji. This has compelled me not to attend the ceremony,” she said on Twitter.
Banerjee, who had yesterday said she would attend the swearing in function at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, said “Congratulations new Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji.
“It was my plan to accept the ‘Constitutional Invitation’ and attend the oath-taking ceremony. However in past one hour, I am seeing media reports that the BJP is claiming 54 people have been killed in political violence in Bengal…This is untrue. I am compelled not to attend the ceremony.”
Banerjee said that the lives lost in Bengal were due to “personal enmity, family quarrels and other disputes; not relating to politics”.
Reacting to her decision, BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayavargiya, said she is welcome to attend the function but she cannot decide the invitees.
In an election that was marred by violence, the BJP has made deep inroads into the Trinamool Congress territory in West Bengal by winning 18 seats in Lok Sabha and cutting the TMC to size by limiting its win in only 22 seats against 34 it had in the previous Lok Sabha.
Adding salt to injury, the BJP yesterday inducted two TMC MLAs including Mukul Roy’s son Shburangshu Roy, into the saffron party along with over 60 municipal councillors.