GUWAHATI, Jan 26 (IANS): Republic Day was Monday celebrated across India with gaiety and patriotic fervour, as leaders stressed the need of rooting out corruption and working for development and asked insurgents to shun violence. The day was largely peaceful, barring two blasts in Assam and four in Manipur.
Two blasts were triggered by the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) near Assam's Digboi town, while four low intensity blasts took place near the venue of the main Republic Day function in Manipur capital Imphal. No one was injured in the two places, officials said.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi reiterated the government's tough stand on militancy, and urged insurgents to shun violence, while Governor P.B. Acharya expressed concern over the killing of rhinos and said preservation of the state's symbol was a collective responsibility.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra hoped an elected government would soon take over the reins in the state, and also expressed concern that the past year saw repeated violations of the ceasefire by Pakistan and attempts at infiltration.
Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh also appealed to militants to shun violence and join the mainstream for development of the state. "Violence will bring nothing good for the state and make people suffer," he said.
In Mumbai, Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao unfurled the tricolour at Shivaji Park, and spoke about the Devendra Fadnavis government's various initiatives.
In Bengaluru, Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala unfurled the tricolour, as an air force helicopter showered rose petals at the Field Marshal Manekshaw parade ground, where Chief Minister Siddarmaiah was also present. The armed forces, police, National Cadets Corps and hundreds of school children took part in the parade.
In Aizawl, Mizoram Governor Aziz Qureshi said the state was fully committed to root out corruption in all its forms.
In Panaji, Goa Governor Mridula Sinha blamed tourists for the cultural intrusion in the tourism-friendly state.
"Tourists who come here bring with them some kind of culture. We welcome all good things which they bring. But some things which they bring distract our youth. For Goa, tourism is an important industry. People who come to Goa think it is a place only for enjoyment. I can say there are some social diseases which need control. We should know what to accept and what not to accept from them (tourists)," she said in her address.
In Tura, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said the government has adopted new developmental initiatives to bring in rapid socio-economic transformative changes, and lauded the security forces for their achievements in the fight against militants.
In Jaipur, Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh said everyone should work for the state's development, and that the state was working on a strategy to provide employment to 15 lakh youth.
Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said the Left Front government will not allow any attempt to divide the northeastern state.
"A section of people are trying to split the state and disturb peace. The government will resist the move," he said after unfurling the tricolour in Agartala.
He said that despite the best efforts of security forces, terrorism was yet to be curbed, as militants still have camps in neighbouring Bangladesh.
In Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam asked people to improve the quality of education and be concerned about the environment. Kerala has made big strides in education but it still remains a case of "a little done and vast undone", he added.
West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi unfurled the tricolour in Kolkata. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee watched the proceedings, and later posted on Twitter: "On this Republic Day let us again rededicate ourselves to being a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic."
Republic Day was also celebrated across Bihar with joy and enthusiasm, while Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi appealed to people to maintain communal harmony and peace. Maoists had put up black flags in Gaya, Aurangabad, Jamui and Banka districts to protest against Republic Day.
In Andhra Pradesh, Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan exuded confidence that the state would recover the lost ground and move on a trajectory of growth and development. He also paid tributes to Pingali Venkaiah, who designed the national flag and hailed from this region.
Republic Day was celebrated across Odisha with gaiety and enthusiasm despite intelligence inputs about a possible terror strike and amidst a Maoist boycott call. Hoisting the tricolour in Cuttack, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reaffirmed his commitment to building a prosperous state.
Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah unfurled the national flag in Chennai. Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, his ministers and a large number of people enjoyed the various floats and dances by colourfully-attired school students.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav greeted the people on Republic Day, and hoped that they will commit themselves to take the country forward on the path of progress and prosperity.