Narendra Modi and the BJP are gearing up for a glittering swearing-in ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday, with a star-studded list of invitees.
However, a few key leaders have decided to not take part in the event.
Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee
The West Bengal chief minister had initially planned on attending the ceremony but changed her mind on Wednesday, citing “untrue” claims made by the BJP that 54 of its workers were killed in political violence in the state. Instead, Banerjee will take part in a sit-in demonstration organised by the Trinamool Congress outside the Naihati municipality to protest against the violence on party workers after the Lok Sabha poll results.
Naihati municipality is located in the Barrackpore area of North 24 Parganas district, which has witnessed violent clashes between TMC and BJP workers since the results of the Lok Sabha polls were announced on May 23.
The BJP won 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal, only four less than the TMC’s 22. The remaining two seats were bagged by the Congress, while the Left Front drew a blank.
Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel
Baghel said he had “prior commitment” and had sought time to meet Modi later. Baghel will be attending events and meetings in Bastar.
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik
Patnaik on Wednesday extended good wishes to Modi and his ministers but said he would not make it to the ceremony.
“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,” a statement read.
Patnaik took oath as the chief minister of Odisha for the fifth consecutive terms on Wednesday.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan
Vijayan is also reportedly skipping the ceremony, but has not said why.
In a message to Modi on the day of election results, Vijayan said meaningful cooperation from the Centre was expected in the best interests of the state and country, a statement from the Chief Minister’s Officer said.
Mizoram CM Zoramthanga
Zoramthanga, who is also the president of the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), will not be present at the oath-taking ceremony due to “tight official engagements”, Lalhmansanga, personal secretary to the chief minister, said.
“State Information and Public Relations Minister Lalruatkima, newly elected MP C Lalrosanga and former two-time Lok Sabha member Vanlalzawma would attend the ceremony on behalf of the chief minister,” Lalhmansanga said.
The MNF is a constituent of the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) and the NDA.
(With PTI inputs)