Mamata congratulates PM Modi, will skip swearing-in ceremony
Kolkata: Congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi a day before the swearing-in ceremony which is scheduled to be held on Thursday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has requested the former to excuse her for not attending the function.
Earlier, Banerjee had decided to attend the function in Delhi and was scheduled to leave for the national Capital on Wednesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Bengal BJP has decided to take the members of 54 people whom they termed as "martyrs" to attend the swearing-in ceremony.
Reacting sharply, Banerjee said the BJP's claim that 54 people died in political violence is "completely untrue." There have been no political murders in Bengal and the persons might have died due to family feud or personal enmity or other disputes. She remarked that the swearing-in ceremony is "an august occasion to celebrate democracy" and should not be devalued by any political party that wants to use it as an opportunity "to score political points."
Shortly after cancelling the trip to Delhi, she tweeted: "Congratulations, new Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji. It was my plan to accept the "Constitutional Invitation" and attend the oath-taking ceremony. However, in the last one hour, I am seeing media reports that the BJP are claiming 54 people have been murdered in political violence in Bengal. This is completely untrue. There have been no political murders in Bengal. These deaths may have occurred due to personal enmity, family quarrels and other disputes, nothing related to politics. There is no such record with us. So I am sorry Narendra Modi ji, this has compelled me not to attend the ceremony."
She further mentioned: "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."
Political experts felt that as the administrative head of the state, Banerjee has taken the right decision. It is an insult to her to share the same dais with the family members of the deceased as to accept it will mean a stamp on BJP's tall claims. The saffron party claims that 46 party workers had died during the Panchayats election held in 2018 and five during the recently-concluded Lok Sabha election.