Kolkata, May 19: Final touches are being given to the preparations for the swearing-in of West Bengal's first woman chief minister Mamata Banerjee at the Raj Bhavan here tomorrow.
The swearing-in at a ceremony in the presence of 3200 invitees drawn from among the top names in politics, business and art and culture will take place at 1:01 pm as per the wishes of the Trinamool supremo.
Kolkata's The Telegraph reported that Mamata Banerjee's house priest Amal Chatterjee had suggested this time for oath because of Amrita Yog (an auspicious planetary conjunction).
Mamata Banerjee has sent invitations to former CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, CPI-M leader Biman Bose, film heavyweights like Mrinal Sen, Goutam Ghose, Tarun Majumdar, cricketer Sourav Ganguly, writers Sunil Gangopadhyay, Buddhadeb Guha and Syed Mustafa Siraj and theatre personality Rudraprasad Sengupta. Banerjee, who will be the eleventh chief minister of the state, will be administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor M K Narayanan on the southwest lawn of the 208-year old Raj Bhavan, where shamianas have been erected. Narayanan has already appointed Banerjee as chief minister.
Banerjee will be head the first non-Left government to take charge of West Bengal 34 years after a nine-party Left Front government had come to power led by Jyoti Basu in 1977. Trinamool Congress and allies Congress and SUCI stormed to power in the state with a three-fourths majority signaling the historic changeover in the state's politics. Congress, which secured 42 seats, is likely to join the Mamata Banerjee government.
Deputy leader of the Trinamool Congress Legislature Party Partha Chatterjee personally went to the Palm Avenue residence of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to give him the invitation. This was a first visit by any Trinamool leader there since the party came into existence in 1998.
Home Minister P Chidambaram, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Defence minister A K Anthony are expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony.
Other invitees were political leaders, Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court, judges, industrialists, administrative top brass, members of defence services, diplomats and MLAs. The family members of Banerjee will also witness the swearing in.
Giant screens have been put up at the Shahid Minar grounds for the live telecast of the swearing-in ceremony. After the swearing-in, the chief minister will have tea with the Governor and VVIPs and leave for Writers' Buildings, the state secretariat in nearby BBD Bagh, to formally take charge.
Writers' Buildings has been given a facelift and the chief minister's secretariat remodeled.
Banerjee is likely to preside over her first cabinet meeting tomorrow presumably to announce the allocation of portfolios, officials said.
Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee resigned as Railway Minister today. She faxed her resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Banerjee took over as Railway Minister of UPA-II government in May, 2009. She had also held the ministry for less than two years in the NDA government.
Trinamool Congress General Secretary Mukul Roy, currently Minister of State for Shipping, is being seen as the frontrunner for taking over the Railway Ministry. PTI