As India celebrated its 69th year of independence on Saturday, states across the nation hoisted the tricolour with great zeal and enthusiasm. During the speeches delivered by CMs of various states, promises were made, plans were announced and achievements were also emphasised. Here are the highlights of the Independence Day celebrations from around the nation:
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On the occasion, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee unfurled the tricolour on Red Road and received a guard of honour from the Kolkata police and other security agencies.
She called upon people to work unitedly for the cause of the nation.
“Let us think with unity, speak with unity and work with unity. We resolve to re-dedicate ourselves to the cause of our nation and to the service for all my brothers and sisters,” the Chief Minister posted on Facebook.
“This historic moment of our freedom fills our heart with joy, honour and glory. We are proud of our country. We are proud of our Independence,” the Facebook post read.
Cultural programmes were performed by school children and artistes at the Red Road venue showcasing the cultural heritage of the country.
Ignoring a boycott call by Maoists, Independence Day was celebrated across Odisha amid tight security with the government announcing more than Rs 16,000 crore for panchayats in five years for speedy rural development.
“Pannchayats are being strengthened for speedy rural development. There is no dearth of funds for this and the government will provide more than Rs 16,000 crore to panchayats in five years,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in his address after hoisting the tricolour here.
Noting that benefits of various welfare schemes had percolated to all sections of society, Patnaik said the government seeks to provide employment to three lakh people in industry and manufacturing sectors by 2019.
Suspected Maoists hoisted black flags in some pockets of Mathili and Chitrakonda in Malkangiri district, police said.
Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar alerted people of the state about the activities of insurgent groups, who joined the peace talks and continued “subversive activities” in the state at the same time.
“Our government would leave no stone unturned in maintaining peace and tranquillity, but the people of the state would have to remain alert about the activities of the insurgent groups. One prominent outfit had joined in tri-partite talks with the Centre and state at the initiative of the central government, but trying to continue subversive
activities by kidnapping people,” the Chief Minister said unfurling the tri-colour at the Assam Rifles ground here.
Sarkar said his government had adopted pro-farmer, pro-people and pro-poor policy to give relief to the people against the national policy which was in favour of the corporate sectors.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis unfurled the tricolour at the Mantralaya here on the occasion of 69th Independence Day.
After hoisting the flag, Fadnavis said he will transform the state into a “super industrial state” within next few years, while reiterating government’s focus to improve lives of distressed farmers.
“The country is moving ahead on the path of development and Maharashtra will play an important role in the process. In the last few years, climatic conditions that have prevailed in the state have caused distress among farmers. But I wish to tell every farmer that we stand strongly with them in their time of adversity,” he said.
Fadnavis said the state government’s flagship water conservation and Integrated water management scheme (Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan) has already benefited around 6,000 villages in Maharashtra and assured that the scheme will cover 20,000 villages within the next five years.
“Farmers want electricity. I assure that every farmer will have electricity by 2016,” he said.
Fadnavis said the government is providing rice at Rs 3 (per kg) and wheat for Rs 2 to around 60 lakh farmers in eight and six districts of drought-hit Marathwada and Vidarbha region, respectively.
Listing out his government’s achievements, Fadnavis said he has tried to bring transparency in the system through Right to Services Act and ‘Aaple Sarkar’ (state government’s website and app to address public grievances while ensuring participative governance).
Fadnavis said he has been able to attract Rs 60,000 crore of investments in his term as the chief minister.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar reiterated his demand for special category status to Bihar on the occasion of Independence Day and cautioned Centre that “providing things in bits and pieces will not be of any help” to the state.
“Bihar will definitely develop. It will develop due to the hard work of its people. It will not develop due to anybody’s blessings or mercy. If you (Centre) want to give
anything, give special category status. Providing things in bits and pieces will not be of any help,” Kumar said.
Speaking at historic Gandhi Maidan after hoisting the Tricolour, Kumar pointed out that special category status to the state will lead to its progress at a faster pace.
“We don’t demand money. Give us special status and keep the rest with you. Special status to Bihar will provide tax concessions to entrepreneurs and lead to investment, establishment of factories and employment opportunities for lakhs of youths, who are otherwise forced to go to other states for jobs,” Kumar argued.
Chief Minister Nabam Tuki sought constructive suggestions from the citizens in preparing a vision to face multiple challenges as Arunachal Pradesh today celebrated the 69th Independence Day.
Addressing a mammoth gathering after taking salute of an impressive march past at Indira Gandhi Park here, Tuki listed the challenges as poverty, illiteracy, diseases, unemployment and social problems.
“….Arunachal is one of the first states in India to take steps to evolve Vision 2030 aimed at setting clear goals with introspection to set the future planning. We have to work together if we are to develop and develop first. Hard work, unity and sincerity are the ingredients for success,” Tuki said.
Pointing out that development is not possible without peace, the chief minister said, “It is the duty of my government to ensure a peaceful atmosphere through effective law and order management while at the same time, taking the goals of development to all sections of the society”.
Terming the August 4 Pawan Hans chopper crash that killed Tirap DC Kamlesh Joshi, a 2009 IAS officer, pilots M S Brar and Rajeev Hoskote, as a trying time for the state, Tuki conveyed his deepest condolence to the bereaved families.
The chief minister also highlighted the achievements of his government in various sectors including project proposals which are in the pipeline.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal appealed to the Prime Minister to help bail out the farmers of the state who have been facing hardship.
Unfurling the national flag at a function in Mohali, he noted that the hardworking farmers of the state, who have been meeting the nation’s food needs, were today facing many hardships.
“I appeal to the Prime Minister to help these farmers who are facing hardships,” he said.
The Chief Minister heaped praise on Punjab Police personnel and the Home Guards for their bravery and for taking on the terrorists involved in last month’s terror attack in Dinanagar town in Gurdaspur district.
Paying rich tributes to the freedom fighters, the Chief Minister noted that Punjabis had played a key role in India’s freedom struggle.
He called upon the people to work towards creating Punjab as envisioned by great freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh and Lala Lajpat Rai.
While Punjab and Haryana Governor and Chandigarh Administrator, Kaptan Singh Solanki unfurled the tricolour at a function held at Panchkula in Haryana, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar unfurled the tricolour at a function held at Kurukshetra.
Patriotic fervour and gaiety 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.
Declaration of Kerala as a ‘complete digital state’ and announcement of a new youth programme in memory of former President, the late A P J Abdul Kalam marked Independence Day celebrations in the state.
With the state making remarkable strides in implementation of various e-governance initiatives, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy declared Kerala as the ‘complete digital state’.
“The state has achieved 100 per cent mobile density, 75 per cent e-literacy, highest digital banking rate and broadband connection upto panchayat level,” Chandy said in his 69th independence day speech at the Central Stadium here.
“The implementation of e-district programmes in all districts and linking of Aadhaar and bank accounts have laid a strong foundation for Digital Kerala.I am proud to declare the state as the complete digital state, based on these indicators,” he said.
Government would set up wi-fi hotspots in all local self government institutions and implement complete mobile governance in the next phase to achieve the best results of the Digital Kerala initiative, he said.
The state government would launch an innovative programme in the name of Dr Kalam to enable the youth translate their innovative ideas into sucessful business ventures.
“Seeking to retain the memories of late A P J Abdul Kalam, the Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment will launch a new youth programme titled Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Youth Challenge,” he said.
The programme aims at creating at least one enterprise from state universities every year based on innovative ideas submitted by college students or groups of students, he said.
Seeking to check widespread exploitation of natural wealth and create mass awareness for their conservation, government plans to set up an inclusive development council, he said.
Detailing various programmes to be implemented in the state in the coming months, the Chief Minister said as many as one lakh houses would be constructed for the homeless.
“Mammoth development projects to the tune of Rs 16,000 crore, including Kochi Metro, Kannur Airport and Vizhinjam projects are becoming a reality in the state,” he said adding that government would go ahead with the light metro projects in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi.
Chandy earlier unfurled the national flag, inspected the guard of honour and accepted the salute from contingents including state police, the Fire and Rescue Service, NCC cadets, Scouts and Guides and from student Police cadets.
Besides giving away the President’s police medals and medals for other meritorious service, he also distributed CM’s Police medals, Fire and Rescue medals, Prison medals, Forest medals, Excise medals and Transport medals at the function.
State ministers unfurled National flags in various district headquarters.
In the Kerala high court, Advocates Association President, John Varghese, hoisted the tricolour.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today announced creation of five new districts in the state in order to bring administration closer to the public.
In his Independence Day speech after hoisting the national flag here, he said insurgent groups had lost support as people want rapid economic development in the state and voiced hope that remaining outfits would also join the mainstream.
“With the view to bring administration closer to people, I am declaring the creation of five new districts,” Gogoi said.
The five news districts are Biswanath, Charaideo, Hojai, South Salmara-Mankachar and West Karbi Anglong, he said.
At present, Assam has 27 districts.
“The government has created a new post of District Development Commissioner for more effective ground level supervision of developmental activities,” he said.
“A new service, namely Assam Land and Revenue Service, has been created for smooth maintenance of land records and other revenue matter,” he added.
“Steps have also been taken for the creation of Garo Autonomous Council, SC Development Council, Development Council for Sut, Gariya, Madahi, Hajong, Kumar, Chaudang ethnic communities in Assam.
“We have been all along recommended granting of ST status to Ahom, Koch-Rajbongshis, Chutia, Moran, Motok, Tea tribes and ex-tea tribes communities to the central government without affecting the interest of the existing ST population of the state,” the chief minister said.
Talking about fundamentalist forces, Gogoi said “the richness of our composite culture and shared heritage shall not be allowed to be defiled by the design or recklessness of a few.”
On the economic front, the chief minister said, “It is a matter of grave concern that the funds, which flowed from the Centre for the planned development of the state, have got significantly reduced since last year.”
It is feared that the state might lose Rs 9,000 crore. This would adversely impact the growth and development of the state, he said.
He also said the state government would construct six lakh individual household toilets in 2015-16 under Total Sanitation Campaign and an amount of Rs 860 crore had been earmarked.
Gogoi announced enhancing of the state Freedom Fighter’s Pension from Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 from this year.
Expressing happiness on all major insurgent groups showing interest to dialogues, he hoped that remaining outfits would appreciate peoples’ sentiment and come forward to create an atmosphere of peace and harmony.
“There is a general realisation today that violence provides no answers and that only engagement in the democratic process can enable diverse groups to fulfil their aspirations,” Gogoi said.
Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla today assured the people of the state that the government would leave no stone unturned in maintaining peace and tranquility.
In his Independence Day speech after unfurling the national flag at the Assam Rifles ground in Aizawl, Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla said that flagship programme New Land Use Policy (NLUP) has made impressive progress and was well on the tract to realise the set goals of achieving development in the state.
He said that 90,139 people have so far been benefitted under the NLUP and assistance for another 44,861 people would be started soon.
The chief minister said that the atmosphere of peace in the state was disrupted on March 28 when the convoy of the Assembly Committee on Government Assurances members was ambushed by insurgents on the outskirts of Manipur border Zokhawthiang hamlet where three policemen were killed and five others injured.
“Counter operation was launched by the Mizoram Police and in the ensuing operation self-styled Sergeant Malsawmkima of the HPC (D), a police deserted, was killed near theManipur border on May eight,” he said.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao unfurled the tricolour at the historic Golconda fort here today and highlighted welfare and development initiatives launched by his government in the new state.
Noting that the government has allocated Rs 28,000 crore for welfare initiatives this year, he said Telangana is number one in the country in implementing welfare measures.
Stating that villages did not develop as Mahatma Gandhi wished, even several decades after independence, Rao noted his government would launch the ambitious ‘Grama Jyothi’ programme soon. Rs 25,000 crore would be spent in the next four years under the programme.
Referring to comments in some quarters (prior to bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh) that Telangana would face problems in the power sector, he said the government is now able to provide electricity supply without power cuts.
The Chief Minister announced that nine hours of power would be supplied daily to farmers from March next year.
The government has succeeded in mobilising funds to the tune of Rs 91,500 crore to make the state self-sufficient in power generation. Efforts were on to raise the installed capacity of the state to 25,000 MW by 2018-19, he added.
Criticising those who claimed to have developed Hyderabad during their rule, he said the city with a population of 1.42 crore has only two reservoirs, that too built during the Nizam period.
He announced that two new reservoirs with a capacity of 30 TMC would be built to ensure that the city does not face problems in water supply.
The government waived farm loans to the tune of Rs 17,000 crore and released the pending input subsidy of Rs 480 crore to the agri sector, he said.
The state government’s another major programme of reviving tanks under ‘Mission Kakatiya’ won praise from different quarters in the country and also abroad, Rao added.
In a first of its kind initiative in the world, Rao said, clearance has been given as a right to investors by making a legislation in the Legislative Assembly.
Promising clearances in two weeks, the single-window scheme gave approvals to 36 industries so far in two phases, he added.
Alleging that Telangana suffered injustice in undivided Andhra Pradesh with its due share being denied in Godavari and Krishna waters, he said the government has taken up irrigation projects pending for long.
In a departure from the tradition (in undivided Andhra Pradesh) of organising the Independence Day event at the sprawling Parade Grounds in the city, Rao had chosen the historic Golconda fort as the venue for the function, since last year to highlight the state’s rich history and heritage.
Several groups of artistes from the state in traditional attire showcased their talent at the historic fort at the event.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands today celebrated the 69th Independence Day with patriotic fervour and enthusiasm.
Lt Governor Lt Gen A.K Singh (Retd) hoisted the National Flag at the famous Netaji stadium here and said opening of the new medical college and introduction of chartered flights from Chennai/Vizag to Port Blair had met the long pending demands of the people.
He also said tourism in the Islands was poised for great development in the year ahead.
He conferred commendation certificates to 12 persons on the occasion.
The Independence Day was also celebrated in different areas of Nicobar district.
Committing to ensure “equal development” of all the regions of the state by “decentralising” the administration, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today said every individual should contribute for the betterment of the country.
Speaking on the occasion of 69th Independence Day celebrations at R K Beach here, Naidu said his government was committed to ensure equal development of all the regions of the state by “decentralising” the administration.
“It is every individual’s responsibility to contribute his or her might for the development of the country and to eradicate poverty, unemployment and illiteracy,” he said.
The state was facing several problems due to “unscientific bifurcation” (of united Anhdra Pradesh, to create Telangana) by the Congress-led UPA for political reasons, Naidu said, adding that the NDA government now needed to help Andhra Pradesh.
He noted that with the support of local populace, his government restored normalcy in Visakhapatnam within nine days after the cyclone Hudhud struck last year.
He further said that the government also organised the Godavari Pushkaram festival last month with meticulous planning, though there was a mishap (a stampede) in the beginning, he said. More than five crore devotees took holy deep in the Godavari river during the festival.
The state had planned to link the rivers to provide water to all the regions, Naidu informed. The government took up the Pattiseema irrigation project in March to provide irrigation to Rayalaseema, and the project would be dedicated to the country this evening, the Chief Minister said.
His government had also waived agricultural loans of Rs 25,000 crore despite the fiscal deficit it is facing, he said.
Earlier, the Chief Minister inspected the guard of honour and took salute by the contingents of police, school children, Scouts and the Red Cross, etc.
Visakhapatnam witnessed the state-level Independence Day ceremony for the first time today. Last year, after the bifurcation, the ceremony had been held in Kurnool.
As a security measure, Navy and Coast Guard vessels were deployed off the coast, while the marine police patrolled the waters.
Naidu presented medals to the police personnel and certificates of merit to the government officials. He also felicitated the freedom fighter and the first Lok Sabha member of Vizianagaram (1952-57), Kala Prapoorna Kandala Subrahmanya Tilak.
Sixteen tableaux of various departments depicted the developmental activities.
Later, Naidu, accompanied by the chief secretary I Y R Krishna Rao, director general of police J V Ramudu, HRD minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao and the panchayat raj minister Ch Ayyanna Patrudu rode in an open-top jeep, greeting the people lined up along the R K Beach road.
Elsewhere, AP finance minister Y Ramakrishnudu unfurled the national flag at the Police Parade ground in Kakinada.
Andhra Pradesh was under a severe financial stress post-bifurcation, and unity of all the people was required to build the new state, he said.
At the Eastern Naval Command’s headquarters in Visakhapatnam, Vice Admiral Satish Soni unfurled the national flag. He took the salute at the ceremonial parade and inspected a 50-men armed guard.
Vice Admiral D M Deshpande placed a floral wreath at the Navy War Memorial in the city.