20,000 invited to Red Road ceremony
The number of invited guests in the swearing-in ceremony of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would cross the previous record.
Trinamool Congress President Mamata Banerjee, also leader of the party that won the Vidhan Sabha elections, is scheduled to take oath at Kolkata Red Road tomorrow.
At least 20,000 invited guests would attend the function. State Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi will swear in Mamata as the chief minister, the first such event outside Raj Bhavan.
Nabanna (the secretariat of the state government) sources said high-profile dignitaries like Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bollywood superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan would attend the ceremony.
Bangladesh's Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu would represent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the oath taking ceremony, Foreign Minister AH Mahmud Ali confirmed at a press conference at his office in Dhaka yesterday.
Hasina had to drop the invitation as she had a pre-scheduled five-day official tour to undertake in Japan, which is scheduled to begin today.
Hasina had telephoned Mamata and greeted her on her election to the chief minister of West Bengal in May 2011, but this time she did not call her or send any letter of felicitations on her second election victory.
Among others on the guest list of Mamata's swearing-in are Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and ministers and leaders of different political parties.
Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck would also be present on the occasion.
The chief ministers of a number of states including Jayalalitaa Jayaram of Tamil Nadu would be among the dignitaries to attend the ceremony.
About 80 percent of actors and actresses of Kolkata filmdom would also witness Mamata's oath taking.
The new ministers of the West Bengal state government are also set to take oath the same day. The function would be projected live from giant screens at eight points.
Nabanna sources said Mamata would resign as the chief minister today, following which State Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi would appoint her as the “caretaker chief minister.” She cannot take any major decisions during this 24 hours as the caretaker chief minister.
The cabinet would also stand dissolved with the resignation of the chief minister today.
Mamata took over the charge of chief administrator of West Bengal by taking oath at Raj Bhavan on May 20, 2011. As many as 44 ministers and state ministers also took oath that day.
The Trinamool Congress would form the government in West Bengal for the second time with the new cabinet's oath taking on May 27.
The main opposition alliance "Left Front and Congress" may "boycott" the oath taking on the red-letter day in Mamata's life.
State Congress President Adhir Chowdhury told this correspondent over phone that Trinamool has been "trying to eliminate" Congress from the state. They are occupying the opposition party offices in the districts and workers are being beaten up, while the administration remains silent, he alleged.
Chowdhury said on Monday some opposition alliance leaders along with Left Front's Surya Kanta Mishra would go to State Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi and request him to take action against the "terror" unleashed by Trinamool.