Mamata Banerjee to skip Modi’s swearing-in, says ‘no political murders in Bengal’https://indianexpress.com/article/india/mamata-banerjee-skips-modi-swearing-in-bjp-political-violence-5754448/

Mamata Banerjee to skip Modi’s swearing-in, says ‘no political murders in Bengal’

The BJP's invite is seen as a gesture to convey BJP central leadership’s concern towards the party cadre in Bengal.

Mamata Banerjee to skip Modi's swearing-in, says 'no political murders in Bengal'
CM Mamata Banerjee had earlier agreed to attend the swearing-in. (File/Express Photo by Partha Paul)

After the BJP sent invites to the families of those allegedly killed in political violence in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday said she will not attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on May 30. Rubbishing BJP’s claim that 54 of its workers were “murdered”, Banerjee tweeted: “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.”

“There have been no political murders in Bengal. These deaths may have occurred due to personal enemity, family quarrel and other disputes; nothing related to politics. There is no such record with us,” she added.

Banerjee had earlier agreed to attend the swearing-in. ” I had a talk with two-three Chief Ministers and we together decided that we will try to attend it as it is a formal ceremonial programme and a Constitutional courtesy. As Chief Ministers, we can always attend ceremonial programmes of the Prime Minister and President. We are trying to attend the ceremony the day after tomorrow,” she had told reporters in Kolkata yesterday.

According to an IANS report, invitations were extended to 54 members belonging to families of BJP workers who were allegedly killed in political violence. The invite is seen as a gesture to convey BJP central leadership’s concern towards the party cadre in Bengal.

One of the invitees, son of late Manu Hansda from Bengal’s Midnapore, told news agency ANI, “My father was killed by Trinamool goons. We are happy that we are going to Delhi. There’s peace in our area now.”

Besides Banerjee, leaders from the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries, Kyrgyz Republic and Mauritius have been invited to the ceremony. Tamil actors Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal are also likely to be among the 6000 guests at Rashtrapati Bhavan on May 30.