Kakdeep (West Bengal), May 26 (IANS) Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee drew cheering crowds by the hundreds on her train ride to a cyclone-hit West Bengal district shortly after taking charge as railways minister in Kolkata.
The 110-km ride in a three-coach special inspection train to Kakdeep in South 24 Parganas saw the 'Didi of Kalighat' in high spirits as she chatted with her party colleagues and exchanged pleasantries with accompanying mediapersons.
It was an eventful day for Banerjee as she made history by taking charge of the railways ministry in Kolkata - making exception to the traditional ritual of a minister taking charge in New Delhi.
Riding on euphoria over her Congress-Trinamool alliance succeeded in decimating state'e ruling Left Front in the Lok Sabha polls, Banerjee accepted greetings from people by the thousands on way to the spot badly hit by cyclone Aila.
Flag-waving Trinamool supporters, women, children and the old, mothers carrying toddlers, all came out of their villages and lined up on both side of the track for a glimpse of the popular leader who was on her first visit to the district after the electoral victory.
At the Mathurapur Road station the train halted for a few minutes as she acknowledged the frenzied chants and slogans from supporters.
'Mamata Banerjee zindabad, didi zindabad,' the crowd shouted as young and old got down to the tracks before the train.
Banerjee looked out of the train, smiled and waved at the crowd that went delirious.
'Didi jekhane unnoyan sekhane (Wherever didi goes, development happens),' many cried.
Some tried to touch Banerjee while others remained content at seeing their leader from close. Similar scenes were witnessed at Laxmikantapur and Karamjali stations too.
At the train's last halt at Cossipore, Banerjee was presented a pot of rosogolla by villagers. She lost no time in distributing it among others in the coach.
Cyclone Aila wroght havoc in West Bengal Monday, claiming 27 lives.