Didi set to skip Ram Mandir inauguration

Kolkata: After CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Trinamul Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee is also likely to skip the grand inauguration of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 22.

The West Bengal chief minister is not going to send any representative either from her government or party to the mega event, according to sources.

TMC insiders revealed on Wednesday that their party chief has carefully decided to stay away from the big programme to send a message that she is a key partner of I.N.D.I.A., the opposition parties’ forum that is planning how to tackle the BJP in the next year's Lok Sabha Election.

If Ms Banerjee would have chosen to attend the event, her image as an anti-BJP figure would have taken a beating which can affect the party's vote bank in the polls, a senior TMC leader indicated.

Ms Banerjee's stand on the Ayodhya event came to light a day after Mr Yechury turned down the same invitation.

The TMC chief however remained silent on her plan while chairing a meeting at the state secretariat, Nabanna, to review the preparation for the upcoming Gangasagar Mela which is held at Sagar Island in South 24 Parganas on the occasion of Makar Sankranti every year. The fair will be held between January 8 and January 17 this year.

Elaborating arrangements, the CM said, “Gangasagar is India's biggest fair. At least 40 lakh pilgrims are expected to attend it this year. All measures are being taken to ensure no inconvenience to the pilgrims. Around 10,000 cops will be deployed. Traffic regulations have been planned with patrolling in the waters also.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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