Kolkata. Mamta Banerjee to sworn as the West Bengal’s Chief Minister for the second time on Thursday at 12:45 PM on Kolkata’s famous Red Road. Her guest list is creating abuzz, not only because of Mukesh Ambani, Amitabh Bachchan and Sharukh Khan but because of the presence of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his ally Lalu Yadav, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav with 140 VVIPs, 3000 VIPs and a total of 35 thousand people are expected.
After an enormous win in the West Bengal assembly elections past week, Mamata Banerjee hinted at future political realignments at the country level when she talked about “friends I can work with,” listing among them the leaders attending her oath ceremony, others like J Jayalalithaa and Mayawati, and also BJP allies like Chandrababu Naidu. It has led to intense speculation about a third front of regional powerhouses to challenge the BJP and the Congress in the 2019 national election.
Today, Ms Banerjee will take oath for a second term as chief minister along with 41 ministers, 18 of them new faces. This oath ceremony is believed to be the largest ever oath ceremony of Bengal with 35000 people to attend it. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and the BJP’s minister from Bengal Babul Supriyo will represent the Centre.
A stage the size of a tennis court, a huge air-conditioned VIP lounge, a green landscaped garden and a fountain right in front of the stage set the backdrop for the grand event.
State Congress leaders say they are not sure if their top leadership will attend, but they plan to protest against what they allege is a “waste of public money.”
The CPM, washed out in this election, too is boycotting the ceremony.