Kolkata, July 22 (IANS) From a tea party at a posh five-star hotel to processions on the streets, Kolkata Sunday erupted with joy as Pranab Mukherjee was elected the country’s president – becoming the first Bengali to hold the highest office in the land.
Emotional scenes were witnessed on the roads as people smeared each other with gulal, danced and burst crackers to celebrate the momentous occasion.
At the state Congress headquarters Bidhan Bhavan, Bengal’s sweet delicacy ‘sandesh’ was offered to all and sundry since the time it became clear Mukherjee had reached the magic figure for victory.
A beaming Pradesh Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya called the day “historic”.
“Today is a great day for all of us,” he said.
Congress workers assembled at the office in large numbers from the morning. They hugged each other, raised slogans and celebrated.
State Congress general secretary Om Prakash Mishra organised a high tea at the post Park Hotel where Congress leaders, eminent people and journalists gathered.
There were loud claps when Mukherjee got a majority. The leaders present gave short speeches recalling their association with the president-elect.
Leaders from ruling alliance partner Trinamool Congress and opposition Left Front were also invited, but they did not turn up.
“We wanted to rise above politics and share our happiness with everyone. We don’t know why others did not come. But we don’t to get into all these now. We just want to enjoy the moment,” said Congress leader Nirbed Roy.
Congress workers also brought out colourful processions in the city and also in the districts congratulating Mukerjee on his victory.