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President Ram Nath Kovind was pleasantly surprised on Tuesday when West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gifted him one of her paintings in Kolkata, which the president said would always remain "close to my heart".
The president, who is on his maiden visit to the state after assuming office, also said the painting would certainly make its way to the Rashtrapati Bhawan gallery in New Delhi.
"I was more surprised to know, when the honourable chief minister presented me with a painting, that it was her own painting. I assure you that it will, of course, be at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, but it will also remain close to my heart always," Kovind said at a civic reception hosted by Banerjee at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.
Distinguished personalities from the fields of industry, academics, culture and sports were present at the reception.
Kovind was all praise for the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in the state for successfully hosting the FIFA U-17 World Cup matches last month in the city and said the success might lead to more of such successes in other directions.
"Recently, the Under-17 football world cup was played in our country. Kolkata hosted many of the matches, including the final. Some of you may have watched the matches at the stadium. You played a perfect host and made all of us proud. Many congratulations.
"May the success of the world cup inspire your efforts in other directions as well," the president said.