Trinamool relents, will attend Modi's oath-taking ceremony

Trinamool relents, will attend Modi's oath-taking ceremony

Trinamool relents, will attend Modi's oath-taking ceremony

Backtracking on its decision to skip the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi on May 26, the Trinamool Congress has decided to send party general secretary Mukul Roy and state finance minister Amit Mitra for the event.

In an announcement to this effect, state minister and senior Trinamool leader Firhad Hakim, said on Friday, “A letter from PM-designate Narendra Modi to the chief minister, inviting her to attend the ceremony, reached the state secretariat today (Friday). Mitra and Roy will attend the swearing-in on behalf of the chief minister since she has to attend a pre-scheduled programme to celebrate poet Kazi Nazrul Islam’s 115th birth anniversary.”

Government sources said that in his letter to Mamata Banerjee, Modi wrote, “The people of India have given me an opportunity to serve the country as Prime Minister. The swearing-in ceremony has been organised at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on May 26 at 6 pm...I am writing this to cordially invite you to the swearing-in ceremony. This is also an occasion for me to seek your blessings and good wishes. I will be grateful for early confirmation so that necessary arrangements can be made.”

While speculation is rife on whether this marks the end of the vitriolic battle of words that ensued between Mamata and Modi over the last two months of election campaigning, Hakim refused to indulge in any theories.

He added that another reason the chief minister would not be able to attend the ceremony was because she has to address a general council meeting of the Trinamool on May 30, in which she will introduce recently-elected MPs to party functionaries. 

Trinamool sources said Mamata is expected to give directions to leaders on various issues at the meeting.

“She will talk on matters related to the 34 seats the party has won in the recent general elections, and how to further counter the BJP wave that seems to have taken over the state as has been revealed through the increasing vote share of the saffron party. The meeting will include all newly-elected MPs, Rajya Sabha MPs, state ministers, MLAs and other leaders,” a party leader said.