President Droupadi Murmu was elated seeing the chief minister Mamata Banerjee beating dhamsa (drum) and dancing with adivasi dancers at Netaji Indoor Stadium, Monday evening.
The state government held a civic reception at the stadium for the President, who belongs to the adivasi community and hails from a remote tribal village in Odisha.
While addressing the reception, a visibly moved Murmu said, “I am really very happy to see how the chief minister showed respect to the adivasi community by dancing with tribal dancers and beating a drum. I thank her because she has shown a sense of equality to cultures of all communities. I am overwhelmed with her hospitality.
” Political observers felt that the President was so elated with the chief minister that the former might have forgotten the controversy that had taken place in July in 2022 when the BJP-led NDA nominated her as presidential nominee.
Mamata had said she would have considered supporting the NDA’s presidential nominee, Droupadi Murmu as a consensus candidate had the BJP consulted her before the Opposition collectively decided to field former Union finance minister Yashwant Sinha as a contestant for President’s post.
Mamata had played a lead role in trying to get the nonBJP forces together for the presidential polls.
Mamata by dancing with the tribal dancers during civic reception virtually gave a message to the BJP that she showed equal social respects to the adivasi community and their culture though the saffron camp had made negative campaign against her on tribal issues during presidential elections.
Murmu also said that Bengal has immense contributions in building the nation since Independence. “Bangabhumi is a land of great men like Rabindranath Tagore, Netaji Subhas Bose, Raja Rammohan Roy, Khudiram Bose, Iswarchandra Vidyasagar, Chittaranjan Das, Binoy, Badal, Dinesh, Satyajit Ray, and so many others, who had leading role to lead the country ahead.”
Mamata while delivering her speech on the occasion requested the president, “Madam, my humble request to you. Please try to protect constitutional rights of poor people. Save the country from constitutional crisis because you are the constitutional head. Protect our country’s tradition of unity in diversity.”
Mamata handed over a Durga idol of dokra art to the President as a gift on behalf of the state. Governor CV Ananda Bose also spoke at the programme throwing lights on woman power.
Chief justice of the Calcutta High Court Prakash Srivastava, chief secretary HK Dwivedi, bureaucrats, ministers and Biman Banerjee, speaker of the state legislative Assembly and Kolkata mayor were also present.
Earlier in the day, the chief minister and governor welcomed Murmu at the RCTC helipad this morning.
Miss Banerjee greeted the President with a bouquet of yellow roses. The President went to the Jorasanko campus of Rabindra Bharati University and to pay respects to Rabindranath Tagore. She went to the room where Tagore was born.
State education minister Bratya Basu and Dr Shashi Panja, minister for women and child development and social welfare welcomed the President.
Professor Nirmalya Chakraborty, vice-chancellor of RBU took the President around. This was the President’s maiden visit to West Bengal.
She will visit Belur Math tomorrow morning and then attend a function to celebrate 80 years of UCO Bank.
She will also attend the convocation of Visva Bharati University