Mamata to be sworn in as West Bengal chief minister Friday (Roundup)May 20th, 2011 - 1:23 am ICT by IANS
Kolkata, May 19 (IANS) Amid heightened security at the Raj Bhavan here, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee will Friday be sworn-in as West Bengal’s first woman chief minister, with the Who’s Who of politics, business, art and culture in attendance.
Along with Banerjee, a 43-member ministerial team - 36 from the Trinamool and seven from alliance partner Congress - will also take oath, marking the beginning of the journey of the first non-Left Front ministry in the state in 34 years.
Banerjee, set to become the state’s eighth chief minister, is slated to take oath in Bengali at 1.01 p.m. from Governor M.K. Narayanan in the presence of around 3,200 guests that would include union Home Minister P Chidambaram, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, outgoing chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Left Front chairman Biman Bose and leaders of other LF partners.
But Congress president Sonia Gandhi will not be attending the historic regime change-over in the state, a party official said Thursday.
Earlier in the day, the Congress held a meeting of its legislators and took the formal decision to join the ministry.
“We are joining the government. We have given a list of ministers. It is for Mamata Banerjee to decide,” Defence Minister and senior Congress leader A.K. Antony told media persons after the meeting.
Banerjee resigned from the railway ministry during the day, and will be the first non-Left Front chief minister to be sworn in since 1972, when the Congress ministry led by Siddhartha Shankar Ray took oath.
Among the Trinamool ministers are leader of opposition in the previous assembly Partha Chatterjee, former FICCI general secretary and renowned economist Amit Mitra and former minister and Kolkata mayor Subrata Mukherjee, who served in the Ray ministry between 1972 and 1977.
State Trinamool president Subrata Buxi, Singur legislator Rabindranath Bhattacharya, theatre personality Bratya Basu also figure in the ministry that also includes former Central Bureau of Investigation joint director Upen Biswas and Indian Police Service officer H.A. Sawfi.
Several lawmakers from the minority community, including Firhad Hakim, Javed Khan, Nure Alam Chowdhury and Abdul Karim Chowdhury are in the list that includes representatives from most of the districts. Relatives of the victims in Singur, Nandigram and Netai have been invited to the ceremony.
Singur and Nandigram - synonymous with intense peasant protests against the acquisition of farmlands - have earned the credit for changing the poll scripts of the state.
Family members of Singur resident Tapasi Malik, who was raped and killed by alleged local Left leaders during the heydays of anti-land acquisition movements, have been invited to the oath-taking ceremony.
The kin of the 14 people who died in the police firing in Nandigram in 2007 and others who died during the 10-month long agitation against the land acquisition there, and family members of those nine victims who were killed by alleged Left goons in the Netai village of West Midnapore district earlier this year have also been invited.
The Trinamool Congress has also invited at least one representative each from all the working class sections of society, which includes rickshaw-pullers, farmers, slum-dwellers and representative organisations of sex workers and the disabled.
Meanwhile, the city police have deployed Quick Response Teams (QRTs) under the command of senior deputy commissioners in and outside the Raj Bhavan compound and in front of Writers’ Buildings - the seat of power.
Special arrangements have been made to sanitize a two-km radius around Raj Bhavan, Shahid Minar and the state secretariat Writers’ Buildings.
The ceremony will commence at 12.55 p.m. with the rendition of the national anthem. At 1.01 p.m. sharp, Banerjee will be administered the oath by the governor, followed by other ministers. The event will last for around one hour and 15 minutes.
Four giant screens have been put up at the Shahid Minaar for people to witness the event.
Banerjee has also requested that Rabindra Sangeet be played during the occasion.
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- Mamata's swearing-in: Singur, Netai victims' kin invited - May 19, 2011
- West Bengal gets its first woman chief minister (Lead) - May 20, 2011
- Tight security for Mamata's swearing-in - May 19, 2011
- Left Front leaders to attend Mamata's swearing-in - May 20, 2011
- Mamata inducts five Congress ministers - Jun 03, 2011
- Trinamool stakes claim, Mamata elected legislature party leader (Roundup) - May 16, 2011
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