Durga puja is a social festival: President Pranab Mukherjee

President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said Durga puja is not only a religious programme, it is also a social festival.

Kirnahar: President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said Durga puja is not only a religious programme, it is also a social festival.

"Durga puja is not only a religious programme, it is a social festival. On this occasion my best wishes for all and I cordially invite all for the festival at my house," Mukherjee who arrived here by helicopter from Kolkata on a four-day visit said.

From the makeshift helipad Mukherjee reached the house of his elder sister Annapurna Banerjee at Kirnahar in Birbhum district.

Like earlier years Mukherjee would perform puja in his ancestral house at Mirati.

This is the third Durga puja for Mukherjee after being sworn in as the President of the country.

Abhijit Mukherjee, Congress MP and President's son said "this puja is not now confined to our family only. It is undoubtedly the much awaited family get together but the common people spontaneously take part in this programme.

"In that sense it is a social get-together and not only simply a religious performance. My father meets a number of people from different social strata during these days, Abhijit said.

On October 2, the President will pay floral tributes at the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri, at Kirnahar Shib Chandra High School, his alma mater. He will also mark the day by flagging off children squads belonging to the school on 'Swatchh Bharat Abhiyan'.

Meanwhile, security has been tightened in Kirnahar and Mirati in view of the President's visit.

Earlier, on his arrival at the NSC Bose International Airport at Kolkata, the President was received by the West Bengal Governor Kesri Nath Tripathy and other senior officials.  

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