State BJP to boycott but Jaitley will attend Mamata’s swearing-in

  • PTI, Kolkata
  • Updated: May 26, 2016 18:51 IST
Preparations are underway at Indira Gandhi Sarani for the swearing-in ceremony of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata. (PTI Photo)

Alleging post-poll violence in West Bengal, state BJP said it will boycott the swearing-in ceremony of Mamata Banerjee as West Bengal chief minister in Kolkata on Thursday, even as Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said he would attend the programme.

“We are boycotting tomorrow’s swearing-in ceremony. When our workers are being attacked throughout the state, how can we join the swearing-in ceremony?” state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said.

State BJP sources, however, confirmed that Jaitley and a few Central ministers will attend the ceremony.

Both the Congress and the Left Front, which fought the Assembly poll together, have decided against participating in the ceremony and said they would organise protests against post-poll violence.

Asked if the central BJP leadership, including Union ministers who have been invited, will also boycott the programme, Ghosh, who was in Midnapore, said, “I cannot comment on it. But we will try to convince them not to join the swearing-in as it would harm the party.”

“They (central leadership) will decide what they will do regarding protocol. But we have apprised them that we are boycotting the programme,” he said.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has maintained good relations with all states pursuing with the policy of strengthening the federal structure,” Ghosh said.

Reiterating their stand on boycotting the programme, Left Front chairman Biman Bose questioned, “How can we go there when people are being attacked?”

The state Congress leadership had earlier stated they would not attend the oath-taking ceremony.

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