West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress president Mamata Banerjee will not attend the swearing-in ceremony of Karnataka chief minister-designate Siddaramaiah and deputy CM D.K. Shivakumar on Saturday.
Instead, Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha member Dr Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar will attend the event, informed the party’s leader in the Rajya Sabha, Derek O’Brien on Friday.
Political observers feel that this is yet another indication of her growing distance from Congress despite the latter’s thumping victory in the Karnataka elections. Incidentally, after the Karnataka results were out, Mamata Banerjee congratulated the people for the verdict, but remained totally silent on the Congress and Rahul Gandhi even when she was asked by the media persons on this.
Later, she said that she is ready to give conditional support to Congress in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls provided the latter reciprocates the same to Trinamool Congress in West Bengal. However, the state Congress president in West Bengal and veteran party Lok Sabha member, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury refused her offer, and said that the question of any understanding with Trinamool Congress in West Bengal does not arise at all.
Regarding the invitation to Mamata Banerjee for the swearing-in ceremony of Siddaramaiah, Chowdhury said that it is a matter of courtesy that the chief ministers of all non-BJP ruled states and leaders of all non-BJP forces in the country havw been invited. “This does not mean that Congress is going for an understanding with Trinamool Congress in the poll perspective,” said Chowdhury.