West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday decided not to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Narenda Modi as prime minister citing ‘untrue” claims by BJP that 54 of the party workers were murdered in political violence in Bengal.
Banerjee had on Tuesday confirmed her presence at the ceremony to be held on May 30.
“Congratulations, new Prime Minister, Narendra Modiji. It was my plan to accept the “constitutional invitation” and attend the oath taking ceremony. However, in last one year, 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 enemity, family quarrels and other disputes, nothing related to politics. There is no such record with us,” Banerjee said in a tweet.
“So I am sorry, Narendra Modi ji, this has compelled me not to attend the ceremony. 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,” she wrote on Twitter.
The just concluded Lok Sabha polls witnessed a heated verbal duel between Modi and Banerjee who spearheaded the campaigns of their parties in West Bengal.
Besides winning 303 Lok Sabha seats on his own (the NDA tally being 352), the BJP came up with a surprising poll show in West Bengal by bagging 18 of the state’s 42 seats, only four less than the TMC’s 22.
The saffron party leapt from two seats in the state in 2014 to 18, while the TMC slided to 22 from 34.