Mumbai witnessed a spectacular Republic Day celebration, with the Maharashtra government organising a grand parade along the Marine Drive on the lines of the parade on Rajpath in the national capital.
This is the first time the parade was held at the Marine Drive in south Mumbai, instead of the Shivaji Park ground in central Mumbai. The special event began by unfurling of the tricolour by Governor K Sankaranarayanan and playing of the national anthem. He then took the salute at the parade along the Marine Drive promenade.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, his cabinet colleagues, senior bureaucrats and top police officers were present on the occasion. Around 25 tableaux put up by the state government departments highlighting their achievements in the fields like education and health care, were a part of the parade.
It showcased the military might of the Indian Army and other defence forces and also highlighted the prowess of CISF and Mumbai police. Thousands of people had gathered at the Marine Drive to witness the colourful event, which culminated in several Bollywood actors Salman Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Preity Zinta, Sushmita Sen, Shreyas Talpade, participating in the extravaganza to cheer the crowd. Celebrations of the Republic Day also took place at various government establishments and private functions across the state by hoisting the tricolour–in district towns and villages.
Meanwhile, in Nagpur, Maharashtra Social Justice Minister and Congress leader Shivajirao Moghe unfurled the tricolour at the Kasturchand Park ground. On the occasion, he said, “Maharashtra is making rapid progress in all the fields despite natural calamities and excess rains and other adverse conditions.”
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In Chandrapur, Minister for Tourism, Sanjay Deotale unfurled the national flag at a colourful function with an impressive parade at Police Ground, while in Amravati, State Agriculture Minister Radha Krishna Vikhe Patil hoisted the National flag at the official function. In Nashik, Maharashtra PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal unfurled the tricolour at a function held on the Police Parade Ground. He also launched the ‘Maharashtra Emergency Medical Services’ project on the occasion.