West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday appealed to President Droupadi Murmu to protect the country's Constitution and its citizens' constitutional rights to save "the nation from a disaster".
At a civic reception for Ms Murmu here, Ms Banerjee lauded her as a "Golden lady" and said the country has a proud heritage of people from various communities, castes and creeds living in harmony for ages.
"Madam President, you are the constitutional head of this country. I would request you to protect the Constitution and the constitutional rights of the poor people of this country. We would request you to protect the country from a disaster," Ms Banerjee said at the civic reception.
CM Banerjee, who presented the President with a goddess Durga idol, played the tribal drum and danced with tribals during the programme.
While thanking the government and people of West Bengal for the warm welcome, the President said that sacrifice, martyrdom, culture and education had been the life ideals of the state.
"The people of Bengal are cultured and progressive. The land of Bengal has given birth to immortal revolutionaries on the one hand and prominent scientists on the other. From politics to the justice system, from science to philosophy, from spirituality to sports, from culture to business, from journalism to literature, cinema, music, drama, painting and other art forms, Bengal's remarkable pioneers have found new ways and methods in many fields," she said.
Ms Murmu said the people of Bengal have always prioritised the ideals of social justice, equality and self-respect.
She said she was happy to note that a street in Kolkata, has been named 'Sido-Kanhu-Dahar' in memory of the Santhal leaders who spearheaded a rebellion to oust the British colonial authority and the corrupt zamindari system.
"Such initiatives give strength to the ideals of our freedom struggle, especially to the self-confidence and self-pride of our tribal brothers and sisters," she said.
Earlier in the afternoon, President Droupadi Murmu visited Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's ancestral residence here and paid homage to the freedom fighter.
Ms Murmu, who is on a two-day trip to West Bengal, went around 'Netaji Bhawan', now a memorial and was briefed by Netaji's grandnephew Sumantra Bose about the significance of the historical building which is a witness to several incidents connected to the country's freedom struggle.
Accompanied by Governor CV Ananda Bose, Ms Murmu first was briefed about the historical car -- 'The 1937 Wanderer W24', in which Netaji had escaped from his house arrest on January 16, 1941.
After around a 10-minute stay at Netaji Bhawan, Ms Murmu left for a brief visit to Rabindranath Tagore's residence at Jorasanko Thakurbari in the central part of the city, where she wrote in the visitor's log book: "It is indeed a memorable experience for me to have visited the Jorasanko Thakurbari, the famous abode of the illustrious Tagore family of which Kavi Guru became a global icon." On arrival in Kolkata in the morning, the President was received by Governor Ananda Bose, and state ministers Firhad Hakim and Sujit Bose. She was accorded a guard of honour at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport here by the defence forces.
Security arrangements in the city were beefed up for Ms Murmu's maiden visit to the state after becoming the President.
From the airport, she came by helicopter to the Royal Calcutta Turf Club ground, where she was received by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
No representative of the opposition BJP was however present at the civic reception thrown in honour of the President in the evening, creating a political stir here.
Senior TMC leader and minister Sashi Panja said at a press meet here Monday that despite invitations for the reception, none of the BJP leaders - including MPs and MLAs - thought it prudent to attend the function and instead offered excuses ranging from not receiving the invite to prior engagement.
"Such is the arrogance of Bengal BJP leaders that they don't extend respect to the President because of their self-importance. Is this not sheer disrespect to the post of President of India? This is not Trinamool's civic reception, this was West Bengal's civic reception. It is nothing but petty and negative politics," Ms Panja fumed.
However, Leader of the Opposition in West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP, claimed that he was not invited to President Droupadi Murmu's civic reception this evening, a charge which .
TMC dubbed as "baseless".
Mr Adhikari who is currently in New 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 !" In response, the ruling party shared purported images of the receipts of invitation cards for the President's civic reception sent to Mr Majumdar and Mr Ghosh with the signature and seal of the state BJP's office secretary, along with the date.
It also tweeted another image of the receipt of the same invitation card sent to Mr Adhikari, which had a signature but no seal or date.
Birbaha Hansda, TMC's Minister and tribal leader, said "BJP talks a lot about tribals during elections. But this is only lip service as shown in the conduct of their leaders." BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya however, told PTI the ruling TMC had not invited the Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari to the civic reception in a proper manner and was now suppressing the facts.
"TMC only believes in partisan politics by organising state programmes tainted by political colours and does not acknowledge the space and role of opposition parties in state politics," Bhattacharya claimed.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)