Darjeeling, July 12 (IANS) The West Bengal government on Tuesday accorded a state reception to President Pranab Mukherjee who is on a three-day visit to this hill town in northern West Bengal.
Addressing the event, Mukherjee described Darjeeling as “mini-India” which epitomises the variety of the country.
“Darjeeling is not just a hill station, it is mini-India. Going beyond being just a geographical expression, Darjeeling represents all the beauties, fragrance varieties, distinctions and talents which we have in India,” he said.
“When we utter Hiroshima, it brings a picture of huge destruction, barbarity and cruelty. When we say Shangri-La, it opens the door of a wonderland. Similarly when we say Darjeeling, it means a great melting pot of various cultures and traits.
“And at the same time, it connotes the desire to live together and work together to move forward,” added Mukherjee.
Felicitating the president, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addressed Mukherjee as “Pranabda” (elder brother) and urged him to keep visiting Darjeeling.
“It is a proud moment for us that Pranabda is visiting the hills. He is the son of the soil and his ties with Bengal are very strong. We would urge him to keep visiting Darjeeling,” she said.
Governor K.N. Tripathi was also present at the event.
Mukherjee on Wednesday will preside over the birth anniversary celebrations of Nepali poet Bhanubhakta Acharya, in Darjeeling where the chief minister will also be present. He is slated to attend the Annual General Meeting of Darjeeling Tea Association on Thursday before returning to Delhi.