Kolkata, May 20: It was a sea of humanity on both sides of the street which Mamata Banerjee took to walk from the Raj Bhavan, where she was sworn in as the chief minister, to the state secretariat - a distance of half a kilometre - to take over charge.
Men, women and even children fell over each other and jostled for toe-hold along the Council House Street to have a glimpse of the newly crowned chief minister after her historic electoral triumph against the Marxists.
At many points, the hysteric crowd broke barricades set up by police, giving anxious moments to security personnel as the chief minister stopped now and then to speak to the fanatical crowd or some TV crew.
As Mamata neared the secretariat, Writers' Buildings, the police nearly gave up controlling the surging crowd making repeated appeals over loudspeakers to maintain order. The intense crowd pressure led to the main barricade in front of the main gate giving way.
Many perched themselves on tree-tops to have a good view of the proceedings while balconies of nearby office buildings filled to capacity.
The normal 10-minute walk from Raj Bhavan took the chief minister over 30 minutes to reach Writers' Buildings. PTI