Mamata Banerjee to skip Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has decided not to attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on Thursday.

Referring to the BJP’s allegation that 54 of its workers had been killed in political violence in Bengal Mamata called it “completely untrue” in a letter she posted on her Twitter account.

“The oath-taking ceremony is an august occasion to celebrate democracy, not one that should be devalued by any political party,” Mamata tweeted.

In a letter addressed to Narendra Modi Mamata 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 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,” said the Chief Minister, adding that the deaths may have taken place due to personal enmity, family quarrels and other disputes, “nothing related to politics”.

“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 that uses it as an opportunity to score political points,” Mamata Banerjee wrote in a letter.

On Tuesday, Mamata had surprised many by saying she would attend the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as prime minister on May 30.

She said she had spoken to other Chief Ministers and believed “there are certain constitutional obligations that we try to fulfil.”