Kolkata: Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee has decided to send her representatives for the swearing-in ceremonies of Parkash Singh Badal and Akhilesh Yadav in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, giving a huge relief to the UPA.
Bengal Tourism Minister Rachpal Singh would go to Punjab, while Union Minister of State for Tourism Sultan Ahmed would go to Lucknow.
Sources said that the West Bengal Chief Minister took the decision after Trinamool Congress meeting. Mamata will now attend Nandigram massacre anniversary and the Budget Session of West Bengal Assembly.
TMC leader Derek O'Brien confirmed the news and tweeted, "Just spoke to Mamatadi. Was keen to make trip to Chandigarh/Lucknow but now she'll be in Bengal on opening day of Assembly for Governor address."
Mamata, whose party is an UPA ally but has made common cause with non-Congress Chief Ministers on some issues, was earlier touted to attend the oath-taking ceremonies of SAD Chief Parkash Singh Badal and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav as chief ministers of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
"I will try to attend the swearing-in ceremonies" of Badal and Yadav, the West Bengal Chief Minister had earlier said.
While Badal had called up Mamata on Saturday inviting her to attend his swearing in ceremony on March 14, Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had spoken to her on phone a couple of days ago extending the invite to attend the oath-taking in Lucknow on March 15.
Making known its disapproval of her attending the functions, Congress reminded her that any interaction with NDA allies "beyond the normal boundaries of social courtesy, will become immoral" and she should not cross the 'Laxman rekha' of 'coalition dharma'.
Trinamool has pushed the Government on the backfoot opposing petrol price hike, FDI in retail and NCTC.
The party has decided to strike a combative note ahead of the Budget Session. The party has decided take on the Centre on issues like NCTC and Farakka on the floor of the house.
Fuelling concerns in the Congress' camp, regional leaders like Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi have been echoing Mamata's criticism of the central government for infringing upon the federal structure of the country.