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PM to open 8-day NE festival in Delhi on Tuesday

PM Manmohan Singh will inaugurate a festival featuring the diverse cultures of the eight north-eastern states of the country on March 7.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2006 22:32 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate a festival featuring the diverse cultures of the eight north-eastern states of the country on March 7, Union Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni said on Saturday.

The Centre has also sent invitations to all Chief Ministers of the region for the eight-day event that will be listed as an annual feature of her Ministry's programmes, she told a news conference here.

"Octave 2006 -- Celebrating the North-East will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister at the Hamsadhwani auditorium (Pragati Maidan) on March 7," she said.

A north-east film festival is also scheduled from March eight to March 14 at Delhi's Shakuntalam Theatre as part of the main event.

Eighteen award-winning films, all part of the Indian Panorama, will be screened in the film festival, Soni said.

The main north-east festival, which comes ahead of next month's elections in Assam, will feature 600 artistes with a variety of skills ranging from folk and traditional art forms to pop music.

Soni, who rebutted suggestions that the event was in any way linked to the upcoming Assam elections, said her Ministry also aimed to promote tourism in the north-east.

The Ministry, she added, was working with other Central and state departments to increase religious, adventure and culture tourism in the region.

"There are also several projects in the pipeline for the development of the north-east, such as related to air connectivity and infrastructure," she said.

First Published: Mar 04, 2006 22:32 IST