President Mukherjee hosts `At Home` reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan
New Delhi: On the occasion of 65th Republic Day, President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday hosted the traditional `At Home` reception on the lawns of the palatial Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Among the hundreds of guests were Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress party president Sonia Gandhi, senior leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lal Krishna Advani, Speaker of Lok Sabha Meira Kumar.
The guests, cutting across ideologies and party lines, interacted and shared pleasantries.
Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal was also one of the guests at the event. After the departure of the President, he was surrounded by visitors and interacted with them.
India exhibited state-of-the art ballistic missiles, even as soldiers belonging to the three armed forces marched down Rajpath, the ceremonial boulevard in the heart of the city, enthralling spectators.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paid tribute to the martyred soldiers at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, the flame for the immortal soldiers.
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee arrived with the chief guest for the Republic Day parade, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who was accompanied by his wife Akie Abe.
Mukherjee unfurled the national flag to the tune of the national anthem, which was followed by the customary 21-gun salute and the main parade on the Rajpath.
Army helicopters were seen flying in a formation over the Rajpath and they carried the national flag as well as the flags of the Army, Navy and Air Force.
With scores of people turning up for the event and being graced by the country`s top political fraternity, the parade kick started with a brilliant show of the military strength as various contingents of the three armed forces marched in sync.
The march past by the defence forces was an index of perfectly synchronized coordination, to the tunes of several inspirational and majestic beats of various military bands.
Scores of security personnel were deployed at the venue to avert any untoward incident.
The security was stepped up with several CCTV cameras placed at all prime locations and police personnel thoroughly checked baggage and vehicles as a precautionary measure.
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