Leader of Opposition in Bengal Suvendu Adhikari on Wednesday skipped the oath-taking ceremony of the new governor, alleging that the TMC government "humiliated" him by allotting him a seat beside two MLAs who defected to the ruling party from the BJP after last year's assembly polls.
The BJP leader also claimed that the TMC government was pursuing "vindictive" politics as it was yet to come to terms with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's poll defeat to him in Nandigram.
"Just to humiliate me and the BJP at the oath-taking ceremony, I was given a seat beside two legislators who had won last year's elections on a party ticket and later defected to the TMC without resigning as saffron camp MLAs.
"This TMC government is acting in a vindictive manner. It is yet to digest the fact that the TMC supremo lost to me in Nandigram. The government did not maintain decorum and showed disrespect to the chair of leader of opposition. Hence, I skipped the programme," Adhikari told reporters.
The senior BJP leader was referring to Raiganj MLA Krishna Kalyani and Bongaon legislator Biswajit Das. CV Ananda Bose took oath as the governor of Bengal earlier in the day. He was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court Prakash Shrivastava in the presence of the chief minister, other state ministers and Speaker Biman Banerjee
Adhikari further pointed out that TMC MPs Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Mala Roy were given front row seats at the event, while BJP's Balurghat MP and state president Sukanta Majumdar was assigned a rear row seat.
"Mamata Banerjee had the opportunity to be show grace and poise and be accommodating to the opposition for an occasion like the swearing-in ceremony of the honourable governor. She failed to do so," he added. Responding to Adhikari's charges, TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said the BJP leader skipped the programme on "flimsy grounds".
"Adhikari is no saint who can make tall claims about courtesy. We are aware of the kind of language he uses against our chief minister every day. He was given due respect and recognition as the leader of opposition at the swearing-in ceremony. He set a bad precedent by skipping the programme," Ghosh added.
(With PTI inputs)