PATNA President Pranab Mukherjee is slated to arrive in the state capital on Monday to honour freedom fighters at a grand felicitation function, being organised by the Bihar government at SK Memorial Hall, located north of Gandhi Maidan in central Patna.
Over 800 freedom fighters - drawn from different parts of the country and various districts of the state - will be present during the function. Out of these, the President will honour a selected number of the invitees. Others will be felicitated by other dignitaries attending the function.
The state government has made all arrangements for the travel and accommodation of 254 freedom fighters from 19 states and 561 from different parts of Bihar, to felicitate them as part of Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran Satyagrah centenary celebrations.
The year-long celebrations to mark the 100th year of Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran Satyagraha, began on April 10 with a national convocation on his life principles. The non-violent agitation was launched in protest against the forced cultivation of indigo by the British planters in Champaran district in Bihar, on April 10, 1917.
Governor Ramnath Kovind, chief minister Nitish Kumar, home minister Rajnath Singh, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, deputy CM Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, education minister Ashok Choudhary and state presidents of all major political parties, along with RJD national president Lalu Prasad and national president of HAM-S Jitan Ram Manjhi, will also share the dais with the President.
Many of the invited freedom fighters have already arrived in the state capital and have been put up at different posh hotels. Those belonging to the state have also been accommodated in different guest houses, community halls and gurudwaras. Patna DM Sanjay Agrawal has been entrusted the charge to co-ordinate their stay.
While Union home minister Rajnath Singh and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi are also expected to felicitate some of the freedom fighters, Nitish Kumar will be honouring 15 of them by going to their seats at the venue for handing over welcome kit and memento prepared for the occasion.
The government has also identified 2,154 freedom fighters who are unable to make it to the function owing to age related problems. It has instructed district magistrates of respective areas to ensure that the welcome kits, comprising of khadi jhola (bag), Gandhi memento, shawl, charkha, sticker, a white Gandhi topi (cap) and a souvenir, are handed over to them before 12 o’clock on Monday.
In the state capital, all invitees have been asked to take their seats at the venue latest by 10.30 am, where the President will arrive at 12.05 pm. After the welcome address by CM Nitish Kumar, heads of major political parties will address the audience for four minutes each. The event is likely to be over by 2.20 pm.
Traffic movement will be restricted from the Patna airport to the S K Memorial Hall via Bailey Road and Fraser Road from 11.30 am to 12.30 pm and again from 2 pm onwards, till the departure of the dignitaries.
This will be the third visit of the President to the state, within a span of 30 days, after his visits to Rajgir in Nalanda district of south central Bihar, for a Buddhist meet and Vikramshila university ruins in Bhagalpur district of south eastern Bihar.
PROGRAMME Traffic movement to be restricted from Patna airport to programme venue from 11.30am to 12.30pm and again from 2pm onwards till departure of dignitaries