Lucknow: Inclement weather and light rains failed to dampen the Republic Day celebrations in Uttar Pradesh, where Governor Ram Naik and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav hoisted the national flag and took part in ceremonies.
Governor Naik took salute of the ceremonial parade in presence of the Chief Minister, dignitaries and senior bureaucrats in front of Vidhan Bhawan.
A helicopter, which hovered over the parade route, showered rose petals at Vidhan Bhawan.
The major attraction of the parade was presentation by cultural groups of different schools. Tableaux of different departments and schools added colour to the parade.
A special presentation was made by the children of National Blind Association.
Flags were hoisted at all government offices of the state.
The chief minister hoisted the tricolour at Samajwadi Party headquarters here.
Yadav said that it was a moment of pride that US President Barack Obama was in India to marks its Republic Day.
"We are proud that the President of the most powerful country is visiting us on this occasion," Akhilesh said while addressing party workers.
"There are challenges before the country. Our Constitution says that the country should be socialist and secular. We are following the path shown by Ram Manohar Lohia, Jai Prakash and Netaji (SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav)," he said.
"While we are getting a chance to get connected with other countries in the world, we have challenges as well. The Constitution says that every person, irrespective of caste and creed must get equal opportunity. It is the responsibility of the governments to provide equal opportunity," he said.
He said that governments would have to ensure that every person gets equal right and an opportunity to progress.
Akhilesh said that it has been the endeavour of the SP government to help poor and farmers.
"We have fulfilled all the promises made in the election manifesto. It is the lone government which implemented all the promises made in the manifesto," he said.
The chief minister said that by launching Samajwadi Pension Scheme an effort has been made to help women of poor families.
"It is the biggest scheme in the country. I will tell all my Samajwadi comrades that this is the time when we strengthen the state and the country," he said.