Cuttack/Khurda/ Malkangiri: The 71st Republic Day was celebrated across Odisha with gaiety and patriotic fervour amidst tight security on Sunday. While Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal unfurled the Tricolour at the Mahatma Gandhi Road here, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was present as the Guest of Honour. Celebrations were also seen across all districts.
Tight security arrangements had been made in Maoist-affected districts like Malkangiri, Rayagada, Koraput and Kandhamal. The police heightened security in several districts after the Maoist called to observe Republic Day as Black Day. They put out posters asking people to boycott celebrations. Thus, combing operations were heightened and CRPF and DVF personnel were deployed in huge numbers.
Finance and Excise Minister Niranjan Pujari unfurled the Indian flag and took the salute at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. Meanwhile in Khurda, Railway Committee President Sashikanta Singh unfurled the flag. Several school students, scouts and guides, NCC cadets and led a colourful parade.
In Malkangiri, Odisha Sports & Youth Services Minister Tusharkanti Behera hoisted the flag while in Kalahandi Health Minister Naba Kishore Das took the charge. In Dhenkanal, Science & Technology Minister Ashok Chandra Panda unfurled the Tricolor and in Angul, Rural Development Minister Sushanta Singh did the honours. Meanwhile, in Rayagada, Women & Child Development Minister Tukuni Sahoo did the honours.
In each of the districts, the Republic Day celebrations took place in the presence of the district collector and superintendent of Police.
Citizens too woke up early in the morning and thronged the nearby grounds to witness patriotism in full force. Schools, offices and shops too celebrated Republic Day with elaborate arrangements. It is notable to mention here that this day honours the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect on 26 January 1950 replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India.