Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will not attend the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister for the second term on Thursday evening, his office has confirmed. Narendra Modi will be sworn-in for the second term on May 30 at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan in the presence of the heads of BIMSTEC nations, Kyrgyz Republic and Mauritius. Besides, invitations have also been extended to all the Chief Ministers including the states ruled by non-BJP, all Governors, former PMs and Presidents for the event.
The opposition leaders who have been invited include Congress president Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal among others. Also, invitations have been sent to all the regional and national political parties.
Vijayan and Banerjee are the two leaders who have confirmed that they will not attend the oath-taking ceremony. While Banerjee blamed the BJP for reversing her decision, no specific reason was given by Vijayan’s office for not travelling to Delhi on May 30. Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy is likely to attend the swearing-in ceremony. The JD(S) has confirmed to news agency ANI that he will visit Delhi on Thursday where he will meet Rahul Gandhi to persuade him not to resign from Congress president post.
Banerjee said that the BJP has compelled her not to attend the event after repeatedly claiming that several party workers have died in political violence in West Bengal.
“It was my plan to attend oath-taking ceremony, however in past one hour, I am seeing media reports that the BJP is claiming 54 people have been killed in political violence in Bengal. This is untrue. I am compelled not to attend the ceremony,” she said.
On May 23, the day general elections results were out, Kerala CM Vijayan had congratulated Narendra Modi on his victory and expressed hope for greater cooperation in development efforts for the state and the country.
The swearing-in ceremony of the new government is slated for 7 pm on May 30. President Ram Nath Kovind will administer the oath of office and secrecy to Narendra Modi and members of his Cabinet.
The invitation to opposition leaders from Modi is seen as an attempt to reach out to them following the fiercely fought election. The BJP won 303 seats on its own in the just concluded elections while the NDA’s tally stands at 352. The opposition was decimated with the Congress-led UPA pocketing less than 100 seats.