Bhupesh Baghel, Naveen Patnaik to skip PM Modi’s swearing-in ceremony

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Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday announced that they will not be attending Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on Thursday due to prior commitments.

The ceremony will be held at 7 pm in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.

“I want to congratulate PM Modi. Due to prior commitments, I will not be able to go for his oath ceremony tomorrow. I have sought time from PMO to meet him later,” Baghel tweeted.

Meanwhile, Patnaik conveyed his good wishes to the Prime Minister and his council of ministers and said he won’t be able to attend the ceremony as he will be busy in the swearing-in ceremony of his cabinet ministers.

“The newly elected members of the 16th Vidhan Sabha will take oath tomorrow. As a leader of the house, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has to remain present during the occasion. Thus, he is unable to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister and his council of ministers tomorrow,” an official statement read.

Earlier in the day, Modi congratulated Patnaik on taking oath as the chief minister of Odisha for the fifth consecutive term.

“Congratulations to Naveen Patnaik ji on taking oath as Odisha’s Chief Minister. Best wishes to him and his team in fulfilling the people’s aspirations. I assure complete cooperation from the Centre in working for Odisha’s progress,” Prime Minister’s tweet read.

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also declined to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Modi 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. So I am sorry Narendra Modiji. This has compelled me not to attend the ceremony,” she said on Twitter.

In the recently held Lok Sabha polls, BJP won with a landslide victory securing 303 seats, while Congress got 52 seats, only eight more than in 2014.

(With ANI inputs)

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