Mamata returns home to tumultuous welcome

May 24th, 2009 - 12:28 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, May 23 (IANS) Hours after being allocated the coveted railways portfolio, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee arrived here Saturday evening to a tumultuous reception.
Welcome arches were put up across the city, Trinamool supporters burst fire crackers and bands played patriotic songs as Didi - as she is known among her supporters - touched down at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport here from New Delhi.

Thousands of Trinamool supporters gathered at the airport and lined the streets for hours to catch a glimpse of the leader, who played a pivotal role in decimating West Bengal’s ruling Left Front (LF) in the Lok Sabha polls.

“My voice is choked I can’t speak,” Banerjee told waiting media persons, who jostled to get a quote or two from her at the airport.

However, virtually mobbed Banerjee had to relent. “I will work for the people of Bengal,” she said.

There was an air of festivity along the route of the motorcade, with Trinamool supporters sporting green bandanas and smearing each other with gulal.

“Mamata Banerjee zindabaad,” they shouted and held aloft posters.

In Kalighat, Harish Chatterjee Street was choc-a-bloc with Banerjee’s admirers from all strata of society. People danced, broke into spontaneous songs and beat drums as her convoy approached the road.

“We have to stand by the people. I have not taken charge. I will take charge only after six other MPs from my party are sworn in,” Banerjee said, after she managed to get into the courtyard of her home through the waves of people.

“Our ministers will stay in Bengal for five days every week. The remaining two days they will be in Delhi,” she said, addressing her supporters.

“We never hankered for ministerial posts. We agreed to join the ministry to serve the people of Bengal. And the CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) must not think that they can unleash terror as Mamata is in Delhi,” she said.

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