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Featured Image: Costa Rican author Roxana Pinto hits the ceremonial hammer of Kolkata Book Fair as Mamata Banerjee, poet Nirendranath Chakraborty (seated extreme right), and others look on.

By A Newsman

Kolkata, 25 January: THE 41st Kolkata Book Fair today kicked off at Milan Mela ground in the city this evening with Costa Rican author Roxana Pinto Lopez hitting the ceremonial hammer 41 times to declare the fair open.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, veteran Bengali poet Nirendranath Chakraborty, and other dignitaries were present on the occasion. This time, Costa Rica is the theme country of the book fair, which happens to be the world’s largest book fair meant for retail buyers.

On the inauguration dais, Chief Minister conferred the CESC Sahitya Samman on poet Nirendranath Chakraborty, who had won Sahitya Akademi Award in 1974 for his book of poems Ulanga Raja (The Naked King).

Speaking on the occasion, referring to the Costa Rican author, Banerjee said: “You are an eco-friendly nation and we are a book-friendly country. This makes the two of us connected by heart.” She called upon people to help the book fair progress in a peaceful manner.

The fair will continue until 05 February Sunday and will be open to visitors from 12 noon to 05 pm every day.

Six books penned by the Chief Minister have been published at the book fair today, taking the total number of books written by her to 69. Among the six books published today are ~ collections of poetry Baktitwa (Personality), Namanjali-II (Offerings), Khushboo (Fragrance), collection of articles Singur Joyee (Singur is Victories), and book on demonetisation Note Katha (Note Talks).