New Delhi: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee will arrive today for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony in Delhi on May 30.
Mamata said that it is her constitutional duty to attend the ceremony. She will be returning to Kolkata on May 31.
“I have spoken to a couple of other chief ministers and have decided to attend it.There are certain ceremonial programmes under the Constitution. We try to attend such events when we get an invitation for the swearing-in programmes of the president and the prime minister," she said. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also confirmed that he would be attending the ceremony.
The TMC chief is scheduled to call on senior Congress leader and former president Pranab Mukherjee on the morning of May 30.
President Ram Nath Kovind will administer the oath of office and secrecy to the Prime Minister and other members of the Union Council of Ministers at a ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday at 7pm. All prominent opposition leaders, including Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, chief ministers and governors have been invited.
Mamata’s decision to attend PM Modi's swearing-in ceremony comes after both the leaders were locked in a war of words during the campaigning for Lok Sabha polls. While Mamata termed PM Modi as ‘Expiry Prime Minister’, PM Modi dubbed Mamata as ‘Speed Breaker Didi’ accusing her for creating hurdles before central schemes meant for poor in Bengal.
Mamata also made major changes in her cabinet on Tuesday following the drubbing the TMC received in the Lok Sabha elections. Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikary was entrusted with two more departments of Irrigation and the Water Resources Investigation and Development (WRI&D), she told reporters at the state secretariat. Bratya Basu has been given additional charge of the Forest Department along with his portfolio of the Science and Technology and Biotechnology Department, Banerjee said.
Minister for Fire Department Sujit Bose was made the Minister of State of the Forest Department.
Somen Mahapatra, who was the Minister for Water Resources Investigation & Development, was given the charges of Environment and Pollution and the Public Health Engineering Department (PHE), she said.
Malay Ghatak will now look after the Labour and Law department, the chief minister said. Rajib Banerjee, who was in-charge of the Backward Class Welfare Department, will also look after the SC, ST and the Tribal Affairs Department, Banerjee said. Senior TMC leader Subrata Mukherjee, who lost to BJP's Subhas Sarkar in the Bankura Lok Sabha seat, was retained as Panchayat Minister. Chandrima Bhattacharyya, who was the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing, was also given the additional responsibility as Minister of State for Panchayat Department.
Former Forest Department Minister Binay Krishna Barman and Western Region Development Minister Shantiram Mahato were kept as ministers without any portfolio, she said. The reshuffle comes amid a stupendous performance of the BJP in West Bengal, where it won 18 Lok Sabha seats, only four less than Banerjee's TMC out of the total 42 parliamentary constituencies in the state.
On Tuesday, three MLAs and over 50 councilors switched to the BJP. Subhrangshu Roy, son of BJP leader Mukul Roy, is also among those who joined the BJP.