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Mamata to skip Siddaramaiah swearing-in, to send representative

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KOLKATA, May 19 (PTI): West Bengal chief minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee will not be attending the swearing-in ceremony of Congress leader Siddaramaiah as the Karnataka CM and has designated party leader Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar for the programme, a Trinamool Congress leader said.

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Banerjee had received an invitation from Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge to participate in the event on May 20 in Bengaluru.

“The CM designate of Karnataka Mr Siddaramaiah & his other colleagues called to personally invite @AITCofficialChairperson & Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee for swearing-in tomorrow. She conveyed her best wishes & designated @kakoligdastidar#TMC Deputy Leader in LS to attend ceremony,” TMC Rajya Sabha party leader Derek O’ Brien tweeted.

The presence of the TMC chief at the swearing-in programme of Siddaramaiah is considered crucial for opposition unity, especially after her recent statement that in 2024 Lok Sabha elections, her party will support the Congress where it is strong.

“Wherever the Congress is strong, let them fight. We will give them support; there is nothing wrong (in that). But they also have to support other political parties,” Banerjee said recently.

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Her statement came soon after Congress scored an emphatic victory over the BJP in the southern state.

In the May 10 elections to the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, the Congress scored a victory by bagging 135 seats, while the ruling BJP secured 66 seats.


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