Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee was on Tuesday formally appointed chief minister of West Bengal by governor M.K. Narayanan.
Till she is sworn in, she will be referred to as CM designate. A day after Mr Narayanan invited her to form the new government, a four-line statement was issued from Raj Bhavan which said: “His Excellency the governor, in exercise of the power conferred on him by Article 164 (1) of the Constitution of India has been please to issue the order appointing Smt. Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of the state of West Bengal.” This Article of the Constitution says that the chief minister will be appointed by the governor who will appoint other ministers on his/her advice.
Ms Banerjee will resign as railway minister on Thursday and will take oath of office of the chief minister at 1.01 pm on Friday. She will drive straight to the Writers’ Buildings to assume office. She will chair her first Cabinet meeting on the same day. Ms Banerjee will be the first woman chief minister of the state.
Former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Left Front MPs and MLAs are among 3,200 dignitaries who have been invited for the swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhavan. Invitations are also being sent to the leading industrialists, sportspersons, intellectuals and academicians.
It would be interesting to see if Mr Bhattacharjee and Left Front MPs and legislators attend the coronation of the woman who dethroned them. In 2001 and 2006 when Mr Bhattacharjee was sworn in as the chief minister, the entire Trinamul Congress had boycotted the ceremony. Interestingly, in 2001, rebel Trinamul Congress leader Ajit Kumar Panja had attended the function.
Meanwhile, preparations for the swearing-in ceremony are going on war footing at the sprawling Raj Bhavan. Senior PWD and information and culture department officials and city police commissioner R.K. Pachnanda visited Raj Bhavan to review the security arrangements. He called on Ms Banerjee at her home. Asian Age