Republic Day 2021: Narendra Modi greets nation; protect constitutional values, urge Mamata Banerjee, Amarinder Singh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union ministers Amit Shah and Prakash Javadekar extended greetings to the nation on the occasion of the 72nd Republic Day. "Wishing all the people of India a Happy Republic Day. Jai Hind!" Modi wrote on Twitter.

Modi will be participating in the Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath in New Delhi. He led the nation in paying tributes to the fallen heroes by laying a wreath at the National War Memorial, after which he will witness the Republic Day parade at Rajpath.

Civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the day celebrates "the vibrant cultural diversity, defence preparedness and confidence of Aatmanirbhar Bharat". While Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh thanked "all who fought for our freedom and shaped our country to be a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular and Democratic Republic", West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot urged citizens to "forever strive to protect, preserve and follow all the ideals of the Constitution".

The Congress said on Twitter that the Constitution's singular aim is the welfare of Indians, "we cannot and will not compromise on it". The party also highlighted its endeavour to "protect and preserve the rights" of the people in a video showing visuals from the post-Independence era.

Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge said the "resilience of our republic is being tested", while YSRCP MP V Vijaysai Reddy said we are "citizens of the most vibrant democracy and our strength lies in our constitutional values".

ITBP officials unfurled the tricolour in the snow-clad mountains of Ladakh and sand artist Sudarsan Pattanaik designed a sand sculpture on the occasion of Republic Day.

President Ram Nath Kovind will unfurl the national flag, which will be followed by the national anthem and a 21-gun salute and the parade will commence. India will show its military might with Rafale jets taking part in the Republic Day flypast for the first time and the armed forces showcasing T-90 tanks, the Samvijay electronic warfare system, Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jets.

A total of 32 tableaus, including 17 from states and Union Territories, six from the defence ministry, and nine from other Union Ministries and paramilitary forces, will be a part of the parade. This year's Republic Day Parade will witness several major changes owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, with no foreign dignitary in attendance for the first time in 55 years. The contingents will only march for a distance of 3.5 km instead of the usual 8.5 km.



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