As India celebrated its 70th Independence Day on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation from Red Fort in New Delhi and asserted on the importance of good governance. Chief Ministers across India took the stage in their states and spoke to the people on aspirations, reforms and more. Here is a list covering how Independence Day was celebrated across different states in India and what the leaders said:
Arunachal Pradesh: After hoisting the national flag in Itanagar’s Indira Gandhi Park, Chief Minister Pema Khandu said that for the sake of development, he would ensure peace prevailed in the state. Khandu further said that “any fringe elements” would be dealt with “an iron hand.” Stating that the government would focus on modernising the police force, he said that state government would set up state-of-the-art police training centre. Khandu also conferred the Arunachal Ratna award posthumously to Deputy Superintendent of Police Bomto Kamdak, who had died in a firefight with criminals in East Kameng district. The state government announced a policy for all police personnel who lost their lives while fighting “terrorists, criminals or underground elements.” He also announced that the government would “explore the best of technologies” to minimize the flood damages in the state.
Bihar: Independence Day celebrations in the state were coupled with an array of schemes announced by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Announcing the launch of one such scheme–Student Credit Card, Kumar said the plan would help students pursuing higher education as it would enable taking interest-free loans of up to Rs 4 lakh. He also announced a monthly allowance of Rs 1,000 for unemployed youth in the age group of 20-25 in order to assist them in their search for jobs. To further improve their job prospects, Kumar announced setting up language training and computer centres across all the 534 blocks of the state. The JD(U) leader also promised free WiFi facilities in all state universities and colleges by 2017. The announcements come as a part of the much touted “seven resolves” which have been adopted as “policy of governance” for the next 5 years.
Jharkhand: Chief Minister Raghubar Das said his state was marching with the nation on the “Vikas Yatra” while unfurling the national flag at the Morahbadi groun in Ranchi. Das said that despite abundant resources, there was an absence of development in the state until now due to some policy deficiencies. However, his government had brought about a change catapulting “people’s participation at the focal point between power and governance.” He also said that for the first time the state agriculture budget would make farmers more self-sufficient.
Jammu and Kashmir: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti became a part of an unintentional gaffe in Srinagar’s Bakshi Stadium as the tricolour fell off the post while she was hoisting it. Two security personnel held the flag as she gave the ceremonial salute to the national flag. While delivering her speech, Mehbooba Mufti asserted on how gun would not solve the problem in Kashmir. While appealing to the youth of the state who indulged in violence, Mehbooba said that they should not be misled by “vested interests.” She also said how the leadership of the country was to blame for Kashmir’s current condition. Mehbooba also highlighted her own “grievances” on the way the Kashmir issue has been handled. She appealed to the governments of India and Pakistan saying there had been enough bloodshed and “River Jhelum could not soak anymore blood.”
Karnataka: Commenting on the atrocities against minorities and Dalits, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that a movement similar to the freedom struggle should be launched against divisive forces in the country in Bengaluru. Unfurling the national flag at Field Marshal Manekshaw Parade Ground, Siddaramaiah said that “a nation was best built with love, mutual cooperation and amity.” He also said that patriotism in the truest sense meant respecting the freedom of others without resorting to sloganeering. He also said that he was proud to be able to fulfill nearly three-fourth of the promises made in the election manifesto.
Madhya Pradesh: Amid Independence Day celebrations, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has set an ambitious goal of generating 22,000 MW power by 2022. Chouhan also announced that his government plans to invest almost Rs 9,000 crore to strengthen the power infrastructure by 2019. Citing that Madhya Pradesh is a power surplus state, he also said that the state was providing an uninterrupted power supply to non-agriculture sector. Chouhan listed rural development as one of his government’s top priorities. He also claimed that Indore had become the second-district in India to be eradicate the practice of open-defecation. To tackle the Naxal issue, the state has formed Bharat Reserve Battalion, said Chouhan.
Odisha: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s Independence Day address covered the on-going Mahanadi river crisis citing that no single state should try to enjoy exclusive rights on the water of rivers passing through several provinces. He stated that such attempts were against the federal spirit. Asserting that there would be no compromise on Odisha’s dignity and rights, the chief minister said Odisha believed in cooperative federalism.
Puducherry: While speaking during the Independence Day celebrations, Chief Minister V Narayanswamy said that 38 Puducherry wards were free from open air defecation. Working on the widely publicised Swacch Bharat initiative, Narayanswamy said construction of toilets would also be encouraged. He also announced a massive drinking water project along with an underground drainage system which would be funded by a French agency. Apart from this, the government was also evolving a plan under the “Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana” to provide concrete homes to the poorer sections of the society. Under the Urban Security Plan, the Puducherry government had also taken steps to fix CCTV cameras to control law and order situation.
Tamil Nadu: While unfurling the national flag in Chennai’s Fort St George during the Independence Day celebrations, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said that her government was working towards development in key sectors. The AIADMK leader also announced an increase of Rs 1,000 in the pension distributed to freedom fighters and their legal heir. Currently, the veterans receive a sum of Rs. 11, 000 every month. Jayalalithaa also stressed on “highest ever foodgrain production of 130 lakh tonne” in Tamil Nadu last year. She also mentioned that there had been a 44.8 per cent rise in students registering for higher education.
Tripura: Chief Minister Manik Sarkar asked his people to maintain communal harmony citing that they “had to be vociferous against divisive forces.” Speaking at Agartala’s Assam Rifles ground where the national flag was hoisted, Sarkar said people needed to introspect why the country was “going backward” every after 70 years of independence. Highlighting the rich-poor divide in the nation, Sarkar also said that disparity had become more “acute” since the NDA government was no different from the UPA regime in terms of economic policy. He also congratulated Dipa Karmakar on her performance in Rio Olympics.
West Bengal: Unfurling the national flag in Kolkata, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee graced the cultural programmes on Red Road with her presence. People across West Bengal celebrated the 70th Independence Day by taking out processions, organising parades and programmes.
Kerala: In his address after unfurling the national flag at Central Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram on the occasion of the 70th Independence Day, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said people should consider such celebrations as occasions to remind themselves about the need to protect the ‘invaluable freedom from communal and terror’ forces. “It is a time when terrorists groups are vehemently trying their best to convert spirituality and religious beliefs into communal hatred. We have to be vigilant and ensure that our children, who go to schools and places of worship, are not reaching the hideouts of terror and communal forces,” he said.
Assam: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal hoisted the national flag in Guwahati. Delivering his speech after the hoisting he said, “To take our national commitment to its logical end, we are on a mission mode to complete NRC update by 2017. The state government is committed to safeguard the interests of each and every ethnic community, tribe and race.” “With a view to prevent illegal influx through the porous border once and for all, sealing Indo-Bangla border is high on our priority list. We have taken for fortifying the barbed wire fence along the border,” he said.
Jharkhand: Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das on Monday expressed happiness that the state is marching in tandem with the nation in its ‘Vikas Yatra’. “I feel elated that in the country’s ‘vikas yatra’, Jharkhand is also marching in tandem, contributing an important role in the development,” Das said after unfurling the Tricolour at the historic Morahbadi ground in Ranchi. Das said he wondered why development had remained absent in Jharkhand despite having resources in abundance and realised that it was because of some deficiency in policy and nature of work.
Punjab: Amid tight security, Independence Day was on Monday celebrated in Punjab, Haryana and their joint capital Chandigarh. Patriotic fervor marked the occasion across the two states and Union Territory Chandigarh as flag hoisting ceremonies were held at district headquarters, educational institutes and other places, officials said. The celebrations passed off peacefully as no untoward incident was reported from any part of the region, officials said in Chandigarh.
Uttarakhand: Noting that the road to development is not easy, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat said a strong will power alone can steer people of the state to the ambitious development goals set by his government. Addressing people after unfurling the tricolor at the Parade Ground to mark the country’s 70th Independence Day, Rawat said, “Our goals are big and the road to them is difficult. “But I have faith in the people of the state and their tremendous will power which helped them overcome even the effects of an unprecedented natural calamity like the one in 2013.”
Andhra Pradesh: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu launched yet another attack on the Narendra Modi government in his Independence Day speech, saying it “failed to honour the promises” made to the state and vowed to not rest until he drew the “last paisa” from the Centre. “They (Central government) are not releasing funds to bridge our revenue deficit (caused by the state bifurcation). They are not releasing funds for the Polavaram irrigation project nor are they trying to resolve the contentious issues between the two states (AP and Telangana),” he said. He was addressing a gathering after hoisting the national flag and reviewing a guard of honour at the Independence Day celebrations at Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy grounds.