The Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana on Thursday criticised West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for revoking her decision to attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony. In an editorial titled “God’s plan”, the newspaper said that Banerjee’s reason to skip the ceremony was not legitimate.
Banerjee had on Tuesday said she will attend the event as “constitutional courtesy”. The next day, she changed her mind after a report that family members of 54 Bharatiya Janata Party workers who were killed in alleged political violence were reportedly invited for the ceremony. “This is completely untrue,” Banerjee had said. “There have been no political murders in Bengal. These deaths may have occurred due to personal enmity, family quarrels and other disputes, nothing related to politics. There is no such record with us.”
The Saamana editorial said that the violence during the polls did occur and that “inviting the relatives of those killed in violence” was not a valid reason to decline Modi’s invitation. “Narendra Modi’s opponents had said that his re-election would threaten the future of democracy in India,” the editorial said. “Mamata Banerjee was at the forefront of those who made claims about fighting against Modi’s dictatorship. But Modi has been elected democratically and is taking oath within the Constitution.”
“These are Indians and not Bangladeshis and they have a right to be at the prime minister’s swearing-in ceremony like anyone else,” the newspaper said.
The Shiv Sena mouthpiece also lauded Modi for not criticising his opponents after winning the Lok Sabha polls. “The new regime will work with restraint and for humanity, Modi has shown it through his work culture,” the publication said. “That is why the world is excited about his swearing-in. Modi’s second festival is beginning today.”
The publication praised Modi for not inviting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to the ceremony and “working against the sentiments of the people”.