Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said that her party members would not attend Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi’s oath-taking ceremony on June 9, The Indian Express reported.

Modi, along with his council of ministers, will be sworn in at 7.15 pm on Sunday at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi.

Banerjee, the West Bengal chief minister, said on Saturday that her party had not yet got an invitation for the event. “Even if we do, we will not attend the ceremony,” she said in Kolkata after meeting newly-elected Trinamool Congress MPs. “This government is forming undemocratically and unconstitutionally. We cannot give our best wishes to this government.”

The chief minister said that while the Opposition INDIA bloc has not staked claim to form the government for now, it did not mean it would not do so in the future.

“Country needs change,” Banerjee said, according to The Indian Express. “Nobody wants Modi. After this result, he [Modi] should [have] stepped down. I do not know how much they can satisfy their alliance partners.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party won 240 Lok Sabha seats in the general election, a significant dip from its tally of 303 seats in 2019. A party or alliance requires 272 seats in the 543-member Lower House of Parliament to form a government at the Centre.

With the BJP falling 32 seats short of the majority, it is forming the government with the support of its partners in the National Democratic Alliance. The final tally of the National Democratic Alliance parties is 292 seats.

INDIA bloc not yet invited to swearing-in ceremony, says Congress

Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh said on Saturday afternoon that the leaders of the INDIA coalition had not yet been invited to Modi’s swearing-in ceremony.

“Only international leaders have been invited to the oath-taking ceremony, our leaders have not got the invite yet,” Ramesh said at a press conference. “If and when the leaders of the INDIA bloc get an invite, we will consider it.”

An unidentified senior Congress leader told The New Indian Express later in the day that the Opposition alliance began receiving invitations to the swearing-in ceremony around 11 pm on Saturday.

“Since we got the invitation late night, a decision will be taken on Sunday morning,” the leader said.

On June 4, the day that the Lok Sabha election results were announced, the Congress said that the outcome represented a moral defeat for Modi.

On Saturday, party leader Sonia Gandhi, after being elected as the chairperson of the Congress parliamentary party, also said that Modi sought a mandate solely in his name, and thus suffered a moral and political defeat.

“In reality, he has lost the mandate he sought and thereby lost the right to leadership as well,” she said. “Yet, far from taking responsibility for failure, he intends to get himself sworn in again.”