Mamata takes oath, vows to fight Covid, restore law and order
New Delhi, May 5: Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Bengal by the State Governor who gave her a two minute lecture on Constitution and the urgent need to restore rule of law.
As Mamata had announced on the day of the results on May 2, the oath-taking ceremony at Raj Bhawan this forenoon, was a low key event in view of the Covid -19 protocols. Chief ministers of other states and leaders of other political parties were not invited. Clad in a white sari and shawl, Mamata took the oath in Bengali. Her ministers will take oath tomorrow (Thursday).
In a spectacular performance, Mamata's party won 213 seats out of 292 seats that went to polls in the eight phased Assembly polls while the BJP got only 77 seats.
Extending best wishes to Mamata and her team, the Governor, Jagdeep Dhankar said, " I am sure that you will script a new governance pattern where there will be cooperation from one and all and State will prosper and go ahead. I express hope and expectation that governance will be according to Constitution and rule of law. India is a great democracy where power emanates from process of law.
"We are at the moment in crisis. I am getting reports from within and outside the country where people are worried. I am in touch with the honourable Chief Minister. She has taken steps after I have indicated to her that our priority is that we must bring an end to this senseless and horrendous violence that has affected society at large. Post- poll violence, if it is retributive, is antithetical to society. I have every hope that the Chief Minister on urgent basis will take all steps to restore rule of law and ensure that relief is accorded on priority basis to all those who are hurt particularly women and children.
"I would also expect from the new government a new commitment, a new approach of cooperative federalism. It is a country where we survive only by adherence to Constitutional prescriptions. I have every hope that the Chief Minister, my younger sister, would rise to the occasion. It is not usual for a person to get a third term in a row," he said turning to her and pointing a finger at her. He added, "I am sure she would do it. There are occasions where State faces a crisis- we have to rise above partisan interests."
After listening patiently to the Governor's sermons, Mamata said in Bengali, " The law and order situation was under the control of the Election Commission of India for the last three months. I have just taken oath and will make sure that there is peace. Bengal does not like violence. Nor do I. I will personally look into the law and order issues. I urge all political parties to look around so that violence is controlled. Tackling Covid -19 in the State is our priority."
Mamata took to Twitter to acknowledge Prime Minister Narendra Modi's congratulatory message on her oath taking and said that she looks forward to sustained support of the Centre. "Thank you Narendra Modi ji for your wishes. I look forward to the Centre's sustained support keeping the best interest of West Bengal in mind. I extend my full cooperation and hope that together we can fight this pandemic and other challenges and set a new benchmark for Centre-State relations."
Coinciding with Mamata's oath taking, the Modi- led Bharatiya Janata Party had its national President J P Nadda, addressed party workers in Kolkata to pledge ending political violence in the State. " We take an oath to carry out our responsibility, by happily accepting the mandate, and play the important role of Opposition."
Before Mamata's swearing in ceremony, the BJP National President and the Bengal BJP President, Dilip Ghosh met the family member of a party worker who was allegedly killed in post- poll violence in Beliaghata in Kolkata. Nadda condemned the killings. "The manner in which the killings took place and then manner in which the acting Chief Minister remained silent for 36 hours speaks of her involvement. BJP will not tolerate such politics done just for power. BJP will not tolerate the political oppression of the people of Bengal. I had said it earlier too, Mamata ji does not represent Bengali culture. Intolerance, thy name is Mamata ji," he said.
Mamata Banerjee later said that no violence will be tolerated. She said that there had been some sporadic violence particularly in areas where BJP won.
The BJP is also holding a countrywide protest against the debilitating law and order in Bengal.