West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee today welcomed President Doupadi Murmu with a tribal cultural program. She played a tribal drum, and also joined performers in a tribal dance, while the President was seen enjoying the event with a constant smile.
In her speech soon after, Ms Banerjee requested the President to "protect the Constitution".
"Madam, you are the constitutional head. Please protect the constitution of this country," she said from the stage.
The event, an official civic reception for the President, came under controversy earlier in the day, with tthe Leader of the Opposition in West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP, claiming that he was not invited to the event.
Trinamool Congress rubbished the charge as "baseless", and accused the BJP leaders of "boycotting" the President's programme despite being invited.
.@BJP4Bengal will STOOP TO ANY LEVEL to engage in petty politics and taint Bengal!— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) March 27, 2023
Looks like in his attempt to bootlick @AmitShah & @JPNadda, @SuvenduWB forgot that he was indeed invited to the Civic Reception organized in the honour of the Hon'ble President of India.#Shamehttps://t.co/K8OQSTx6Iipic.twitter.com/KnQpLpXvdO
The state government organised the programme for Ms Murmu at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata, where Governor CV Ananda Bose is also present.
Mr Adhikari, who is currently in Delhi, tweeted, "Those who queued up to vote against her (Murmu) would take the centre stage & hog the limelight at the felicitation event! Those who queued up to vote in her favour are snubbed by the WB Govt & aren't invited !" The TMC, however, claimed several top leaders of the opposition party, including Adhikari, state president Sukanta Majumdar, and BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh have been invited to the programme.
"Despite being invited to the event scheduled at Netaji Indoor Stadium, they have chosen to boycott it. When it comes to petty politics, @BJP4India does not even spare the Hon'ble President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu. Shameful," the TMC said on Twitter.
President Murmu is in Bengal for a two-day visit. This is her first tour to the state after being elected the President.