STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Malda, 14 November
Even if the chief minister&’s proposed visit on 26 November goes well, the district administration may not heave a sigh of relief as they have to get ready to welcome the President of India Mr Pranab Mukherjee who is likely to visit Malda on 10 January on the occasion of the 125th celebration of Chanchal Siddheswari Institution. It would be the maiden Malda visit of the President of India since independence.
No sooner had a fax accepting the invitation reached the school authorities from the President&’s office today than the jubilant people of all tires started planning to accord him a majestic welcome.
Mr Mukherjee would inaugurate the closing ceremony of the year-long 125th year celebration of the school.
In a letter to the Headmaster of the school Mr Asrarul Hoque, Mr Rajneesh, the private secretary to the President informed that Mr Mukherjee had consented to inaugurate the programme.
The President would reach Kolkata on 9 January evening. He would reach Malda at 1.30 p.m. on 10 January after attending the 48th convocation of the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata.
The President would return to Delhi from Malda by helicopter via Kolkata.
The school authorities have been asked to mail a draft minute-to-minute programme, dais plan and sample invitation card to the President&’s office immediately.
Mr Hoque, delighted on receiving the fax, said: “We invited the President on 25 September and urged him to inaugurate the 125th year ceremony of the school. We have no word to express our gratitude that he has accepted our invitation.”
It may be mentioned that the 125th year celebration of Chanchal Siddheswari Institution commenced on 14 August. A statue of Siddheswari was installed in the school premises. Students have participated in numerous cultural programmes to mark the occasion. The concluding phase of the programme to be inaugurated by Mr Mukherjee would continue for seven days.
Mr Prangopal Poddar, secretary of Chanchal merchants’ association, said: “We are inexplicably excited that the President of India would be visiting a small town like Chanchal. The name of the town would be familiar to the entire nation by the President&’s visit. We are planning to wrap the entire route of the President with petals of flowers.”
Congress MLA of Chanchal, Mr Asif Mehbub, too sounded jubilant.
“The President&’s visit would be an inspiration for us. We are all set to receive Mr Mukherjee with a gala welcome.”