Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday sworn in as the Chief Minister of West Bengal for the third time. Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar administered her the oath of office and secrecy at a low-key ceremony at Raj Bhawan held amid the raging COVID pandemic. Banerjee took the oath in Bengali language. She is the 21st chief minister of West Bengal and 8th person to hold the office.
Apart from senior TMC leaders like Partha Chatterjee and Subrata Mukherjee, poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who played a key role in TMC's victory, and Banerjee MP nephew Abhishek Banerjee were present. Chief Ministers of other states and leaders of other political parties were not invited for the programme keeping in mind the current COVID-19 situation in the country.
Mamata alone was sworn-in on Wednesday and her cabinet will be expanded with the induction of other ministers on May 9, the birth anniversary of Bengali cultural icon nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.
Banerjee has said her first priority after resuming office will be to tackle the COVID-19 situation. "Our first priority is to control the COVID situation," she said after taking the oath. Banerjee said she will hold a meeting on the pandemic situation at state secretariat Nabanna soon after leaving Raj Bhavan.
Referring to incidents of violence which have claimed the lives of several BJP workers, she said, "I will tackle law and order from today and deal with these sternly. This is my second priority."
"We will not give respite to anyone (perpetrators of violence), and do everything to restore law and order," she told journalists after taking oath. She urged all political parties to help maintain peace and order.
Governor congratulates CM Mamata Banerjee
Congratulating Banerjee on assuming office for a third time, Dhankhar expressed hope and expectation that she will govern the state according to the Constitution and rule of law. "We are at the moment in a very difficult crisis," Dhankhar said, adding he has brought the issue of post-poll violence to the notice of the CM.
"Our first priority is to end the horrendous and senseless violence that has affected society at large. Post poll violence, if it is retributive, is antithetical to democracy," said Dhankhar, who has repeatedly pulled up the state government over the violence and has had a running feud with Banerjee over several issues.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday congratulated TMC Chief Mamata Banerjee on taking oath as Chief Minister of West Bengal on Twitter.
"Congratulations to Mamata Didi on taking oath as West Bengal’s Chief Minister," he tweeted.
The newly elected TMC MLAs had on Monday unanimously elected Mamata Banerjee as the legislative party leader at a meeting in Kolkata. Banerjee had then tendered her resignation from the office of the Chief Minister to the Governor.
Biman Banerjee, the speaker in the outgoing House, has been elected as the pro-tem speaker in the new Assembly. The newly-elected MLA will take oath in the Assembly from May 6.
The Trinamool Congress came to power for the third time in a row in West Bengal, pocketing 213 of the 292 assembly seats that went to polls, while its main challenger, the BJP, bagged 77 seats.