Mamata calls Pranab 'son of the soil'



Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday hailed President Pranab Mukherjee as "son of the soil" and said the state had produced the best brains in science and other fields.

"I'm proud to say that West Bengal is the brain of science in India and people from the state have done well in all spheres of life -- from science to literature to art to music," Banerjee said in her address at the inauguration of Indian Science Congress here.

Praising Mukherjee, who was the chief guest at the five-day event, the chief minister said: "Our president is also the son of the soil."

"Bengal has given maximum number of Nobel laureates to India and the state has produced many well-known scientists," she said.

The event also brought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Mamata Banerjee face-to-face for the first time after her exit from the central government. Banerjee shared the dais with Manmohan Singh.

During the presidential election last year, Banerjee had opposed Pranab Mukherjee tooth and nail and tried to rally other political parties against him.

IANS