Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday appealed to President Droupadi Murmu to take initiative in protecting the democratic rights for the sake of the people of the country, especially those hailing from financially weaker backgrounds.
"My humble request to the President of the country is to ensure the protection of democratic rights for the sake of the poor and all in the country. Please protect our country from any kind of disaster. Our roots lie in unity in diversity," she said while addressing a Citizens' Convention to felicitate the President at Netaji Indoor Stadium here.
This is Murmu's first trip to West Bengal since she was elected President last year. On a two-day trip to the state, she will be attending the annual convocation of Visva Bharati University in Birbhum district on Tuesday and is scheduled to go back to New Delhi on Tuesday night only.
On the occasion, Banerjee addressed the President as a "Golden Lady". In her speech, she also referred to the rich heritage of West Bengal in the area of culture and social reforms. "The freedom movement and the process of social reforms in the country started from Bengal only," she said.
In her speech, the President was also all praise for the Chief Minister. "The Chief Minister has the rare quality of considering everyone as close to her and her own relations. I thank her for that. I am overwhelmed," Murmu said.
She was all praises about the richness of Bengali as a language. "I find the Bengali language extremely sweet. When I listen to this language, I feel that I am near my own village. Such is the fragrance and sweetness of this language," she said.
The BJP, however, decided to boycott this programme. According to them, when Murmu contested as the President last year, it was the Trinamool, who floated a candidate against her and hence felicitating her now was nothing but a show-off.