Last Updated: December 30, 2022, 12:11 IST
The stage at the inauguration of the new Vande Bharat Express at Howrah station, West Bengal, witnessed high drama as Mamata Banerjee refused to go up on the dais after sloganeering by a section of BJP supporters in the crowd on Friday.
The West Bengal Chief Minister was visibly annoyed over slogans of ‘Jai Shree Ram’ raised by some in the crowd after she arrived for the inauguration of the Vande Bharat express to New Jalpaiguri.
BJP minister Subhas Sarkar and Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw were present at the ceremony and asked the supporters to stop the loud sloganeering. However, attempts to placate the TMC chief by Vaishnaw and Governor C V Ananda Bose were not fruitful and she chose to seat herself in the audience instead of the stage.
Banerjee later also chose to give her address from her seat in the audience and did not take the dais. In her speech, she condoled the death of Prime Minister Modi’s mother and thanked him for giving people of West Bengal this opportunity.
“Respected PM, today it’s a sad day and great loss to you. I pray to god, may god give you strength. I convey my gratitude to you that you were supposed to come to West Bengal but because of demise of your mother you couldn’t come but joined virtually,” she said.
“On behalf of the people of West Bengal, I thank you so much for giving us this opportunity. It’s a sad day for you. Your mother is also our mother. May god give you the strength to continue your work, please take some rest.”
Prime Minister Modi, who was scheduled to flag off the train and inaugurate other projects in the state, attended the event virtually after the demise of his mother, Heeraben Modi, early on Friday.
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