New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh unfurled the national flag at the Red Fort on the occasion of the 67th Independence Day.
Here are the sidelights of the event at the 17th century Mughal monument:
Overcast conditions greeted the dignitaries and the masses who had gathered for the event. However, it seemed that the clouds patiently waited for the program to end. As soon as the Prime Minister left the Red Fort after delivering his speech, the heavens opened up.
The people, however, were already prepared for this as almost all those who came to participate in the celebrations brought rain coats and umbrellas with them.
School children, who were present in large numbers, cheered loudly when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in his cavalcade, unfurled the tricolour and when balloons were released after the end of his speech.
When Singh`s carcade was leaving the venue, children waved their caps and scarves and greeted the Prime Minister and his wife. The couple also reciprocated and waved back at them.
Around 3,500 children who had come from 36 government schools of the city also clapped jubilantly during Dr Singh’s speech.
Excited youngsters were busy showing their new track suits to each other.
Demonstrating their excitement and patriotic zeal, children sang the national anthem with festive fervour both at the beginning and end of the event.
The Prime Minister arrived at the Red Fort at around 7:20 AM amid loud cheers by the children and public present there and walked to the ramparts of the 17th century monument and unfurled the national tricolour.
Defence Minister AK Antony and Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh welcomed Singh as he arrived on the ramparts.
Before coming to Red Fort, Singh went to Rajghat and paid homage to father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi.
During the event, Singh`s wife Gursharan Kaur was seated next to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid were some of the VVIPs present.