Prez, V-P, PM greet people on Makar Sankranti, Pongal

New Delhi: President Pratibha Patil, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday greeted the people on the occasion of Makar Sankranti and Pongal and said these festivals bind the communities in a bond of love and affection.

"May these festivals bind the communities and regions of India in a bond of love and affection and inspire us to work for the unity and progress of our country," Patil said in a message.

Ansari said that these festivals reflected the country's glorious cultural traditions and promote the values of sharing, generosity and goodwill among the people.

Extending his greetings, Singh said these traditional harvest festivals signify renewal and provide an occasion to acknowledge the immense contribution of country's farmers to the well-being of the people.

"May these festivals usher in happiness and prosperity for all," the Prime Minister said.

BJP President Nitin Gadkari also greeted the people of India and NRIs abroad on the occasion.

"Nitin Gadkari has sent his warm greetings and best wishes to the people of India and NRIs abroad on the auspicious occasion of Lohari, Makar Sakranti, Pongal and Bihu," BJP said in a statement.

Gadkari said these festivals of joy, heralding the harvesting season, have a special significance in "our social and cultural lives".