Kolkata: In a gesture of warmth, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gave a token gift to IITians, who arrived here for the PanIIT Global conference on Friday, and was given a standing ovation.
IITians were surprised when the Chief Minister announced a token of appreciation for all IITians comprising small quantities of rice, tea and a handicraft in a small jute bag, all products of the state.
"Usually, event sponsors offer mementos to chief guests, but this time it is the reverse, the guest offered a gift to all. In my several years, we have never experienced such a surprise. We are overwhelmed," PanIIT organising committee chairman Sandipan Chakraborty said.
She received another round of applause when she said "all security arrangements we have done are for your safety as you are more important than me."
During her speech she highlighted the financial crisis plaguing the state and said that there was a problem facing the health sector and for giving 100 days work.
Banerjee did not forget to point out that the state registered 6.9 percent SGDP in the Q1 period of 2012-13 against national growth of 5.5 percent.
She also called for investment in the IT and hardware sectors as the state government had favourable policies.