Mamata Banerjee not to attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony

Decision taken as BJP is spreading information which is “untrue,’’ she says

Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said she will not attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday as the BJP is spreading information which is “untrue’’.

Congratulating Mr. Modi, Ms. Banerjee said in a tweet that it was her “plan to accept the Constitutional invitation and attend the oath-taking ceremony. However, in the last one hour, I am seeing the media reports that the BJP [is] claiming 54 people have been murdered in political violence in Bengal. This is completely untrue.”

On Wednesday, the BJP announced that they would take the families of those allegedly murdered in political violence in Bengal to Delhi to attend the swearing-in ceremony.

Ms Banerjee, however, said there had been “no political murders” in the State.

She said:

“These deaths may have occurred due to personal enmity, family quarrels and other disputes; nothing related to politics. There is no such record with us. 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.”

Her initial decision to go to Delhi indicated that both sides are trying to calm down the pitch of campaign that got severely amplified during the elections, hurting Centre-State relations. The new development indicates that the fight between the parties will continue for now.

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