Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India on his maiden visit to Kolkata after taking office, remarked that West Bengal has certain advantages and certain responsibilities as a border State.
Addressing a civic reception jointly by the West Bengal Government and the Calcutta Municipal Corporation at the Netaji Indoor Stadium, Kolkata on Tuesday, President Kovind stated "West Bengal has certain advantages and certain responsibilities being a border state. West Bengal has to guard against cross-border terrorism and radical forces trying to use the democratic spaces of our country."
He stated that owing to the location of the State, West Bengal can act as a crucial facilitator of the Government's "Act East Policy" which includes connectivity and economic initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region.
"Bengal has had a great history. We will have to ensure that it has a great future too. In 2022 India will celebrate 75 years of her existence as a free country. India should lead for a better India by 2022," added the President.
The President talked about the great legacy of Bengal in different spheres including education, social reforms, science, literature and even cinema.
"In the sphere of nation-building, we wow a lot to West Bengal" added President Kovind.
The President stated that every Indian's life is enriched by Bengal or creation of Bengal.
Labeling Bengal as the land of "Mishti (sweets,) Adda (intellectual exchanges) and Football" the President assured the gathering that he would return to Bengal and Kolkata.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gifted a painting done by her. "I am touched that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has gifted me her own painting. It will surely hang on the walls of the Rashtrapati Bhavan" assured Kovind.
The President arrived at Kolkata on Tuesday on a four-day visit to West Bengal, Mizoram, and Nagaland.
The President will interact with the scientific community on "Vigyan Chintan- Scientific Ecosystem" at the Council Hall of Raj Bhavan.
On November 29th he will visit Jorasakho- the ancestral home of Rabindranath Tagore; Netaji Bhavan- Netaji's residence and Ramakrishna Mission headquarters at Belur Math.
The President will also attend the closing ceremony of the centenary celebrations of Bose Institute. On the same day, he will leave for Mizoram.
In Aizwal, capital of Mizoram the President will inaugurate housing complexes for the economically backward strata from the Raj Bhawan.
On November 30th the President will address a special session of the Mizoram Legislative Assembly. Following this, he will interact with prominent citizens, civil society, and NGOs in Kohima, the capital of Nagaland.
On December 1 before proceeding to Delhi he will inaugurate the Hornbill Festival and State Foundation Day celebrations at Kohima.