Kolkata: Upset over “untrue” claims by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that 54 of its workers were murdered in political violence in the state, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has decided to not attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on Thursday.
Banerjee, who had confirmed her presence at the ceremony on Tuesday, said in a tweet: “Congratulations, new Prime Minister, Narendra Modiji. 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. These deaths may have occurred due to personal enemity, family quarrels and other disputes, nothing related to politics. There is no such record with us.”
The just-concluded Lok Sabha polls witnessed a heated verbal duel between Modi and Banerjee who spearheaded the campaigns of their parties in West Bengal.
Besides winning 303 Lok Sabha seats on his own (the NDA tally being 352), the BJP came up with a surprising poll show in West Bengal by bagging 18 of the state's 42 seats, only four less than the TMC's 22. The saffron party leapt from two seats in the state in 2014 to 18, while the TMC slid to 22 from 34.