The Government of West Bengal hosted a state reception in honour of President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at Chowrasta (The Mall), Darjeeling yesterday.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said Darjeeling is mini India and not merely a simple geographic expression. It is a great melting pot of diverse cultures and ethnicity. The people of Darjeeling have chosen to live together and work together. India is a country of 1.28 billion people, who speak more than 100 languages and 1,600 dialects. India is home to major religions and three major ethnic groups. All live under one rule, one Constitution, one flag and one system. India has always absorbed diverse influences and converted them into one mighty ocean of unity.
The President said recent West Bengal Assembly elections demonstrated the strength of Indian democracy. He was touched by the warmth of reception received from the people of Darjeeling who have assembled despite the cold and rain. He was delighted to be in Darjeeling. He is not a guest but one amongst them.
The President was felicitated on the occasion by the Governor of West Bengal, Chief Minister of West Bengal, Chief Executive of Gorkha Territorial Administration, Chairman, West Bengal Mayel Lyang Lepcha Development Board, Chairman, West Bengal Tamang Development and Cultural Board, Chairman, West Bengal Sherpa Cultural Board, Chairman, West Bengal Bhutia Development Board, President, West Bengal Limbu Development Board, Chairman, Mangar Development Board and Chairman West Bengal Khambu Rai Development Board.