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Mamata Banerjee takes oath as Bengal CM for third time
Kolkata, May 5, 2021
Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mamata Banerjee took oath as Chief Minister of West Bengal for a third consecutive term and said that handling the COVID-19 pandemic and tackling the post-poll violence and the overall law and order situation in the state would be her priorities.
Banerjee was administered the oath of office and secrecy by West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar at a simple ceremony in Raj Bhavan here.
Banerjee led her party to a thumping majority in the recently-held elections to the State Legislative Assembly, though she herself lost from Nandigram against her former aide Suvendu Adhikari, who had left the TMC ahead of the elections and joined the BJP. Under the law, Banerjee has to be elected to the legislature within six months.
The Chief Minister's convoy left her residence at Harish Chatterjee Street popularly known as Kalighat at 10.10 a.m. and reached Raj Bhawan at 10.20 a.m.
Like any other day, she sat by the side of the driver but the usual scene of people standing by the side of the road to have a glimpse of the Chief Minister was missing because she had requested everybody to stay indoors.
The entire road was decorated with blue-white -- the colour combination branded by Trinamool Congress (TMC) and large footballs -- highlighting the party's theme song -- "Khela Hobe" (We will play).
Banerjee, who was escorted by her nephew Abhishek Banerjee and poll strategist Prashant Kishore, reached Raj Bhavan and exchanged pleasantries with the guests who included TMC leaders Arup Biswas, Subrata Mukherjee, Partha Chatterjee, Subrata Bakshi and Firhad Hakim.
Though opposition leaders like BJP state President Dilip Ghosh, Congress state President Adhir Ranjan Cowdhury, veteran leader Abdul Mannan, Left Front Chairman Biman Basu, former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bahttacharjee and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly were invited but they were not present.
Banerjee took the oath in Bengali in the ceremony that lasted for seven minutes.
Speaking to the media later, the Chief Minister said, "I shall start my work from today itself. I shall go to Nanbanna and hold a high-level meeting on the Covid situation in the state. We need to review the situation and several measures will be announced in the evening. We hope we will be able to control the situation as we did before".
"I would also like to take this opportunity to appeal to all people and workers of all political parties to maintain peace and harmony. Bengal has a culture and we should not forget that. There are some sporadic incidents. I have got information but the administration was not in my hands for the last three months. I assure everybody to take necessary action and handle the situation strongly but before that I would like to appeal to everybody to stay in a peaceful manner," she added.
Ghosh had told the media that he decided to not attend the ceremony because a lot of the BJP workers had been killed in the post-poll violence in the state.
Chowdhury said that he did not receive any invitation letter from the government.