The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal on Thursday decided to boycott the inauguration of the East-West Metro corridor, after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's name was found missing from the invitation card for the programme, party sources said.
The first phase of the East-West Metro corridor, connecting Sector V with Salt Lake Stadium in the city, is scheduled to be inaugurated later in the day by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
Senior TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, state fire services minister Sujit Bose and Bidhanagar Municipal Corporation Chairperson Krishna Chakraborty, who have been invited to the inauguration, have decided to give the event a miss, in protest against "the insult meted out to Banerjee and the people of Bengal".
"The East-West Metro corridor project was the brainchild of Mamata Banerjee during her tenure as the railway minister from 2009-2011. It was Banerjee who had sanctioned money (for the project) in Railway budget. Now, when the project is being inaugurated, she has not been invited. This is an insult to Banerjee and the people of Bengal," Ms Dastidar told PTI.
Echoing similar sentiments, Mr Bose said, "Why should we attend the event when our chief minister has not been invited? The BJP should refrain from such petty politics."
Railway officials, however, have declined to comment on the matter.
Defending the decision to not invite the Chief Minister, state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said, the TMC is "paying for its past sins".
"During the Left rule, Mamata Banerjee, as the railway minister, had not invited the then chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, on several occasions. So they (TMC) should be the last to talk about courtesy," Dilip Ghosh said.
"In several administrative meetings in Bengal, BJP lawmakers have not been invited. Was that a sign of courtesy? The railways have invited local public representatives. Now it is up to them to decide whether they would attend the inauguration," he added.