West Bengal celebrates Republic Day (Lead)

January 27th, 2012 - 12:05 am ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, Jan 26 (IANS) The West Bengal government is bringing the state’s farmers under 500 agri-credit societies to ensure they get proper prices for their produce, Governor M.K. Narayanan said in his Republic Day speech Thursday.

“To ensure that farmers get a desirable price for their produce, agricultural producers are being organised under 500 agricultural credit societies,” Narayanan said.

He said Rs.15 crore had been allotted for the agri-credit societies and another Rs.15 crore would be spent for setting up organisations of peasants who resided in 500 most economically-backward villages of the state.

The governor said the government had already taken several initiatives in the Maoist-affected Jangalmahal area, including opening outlets for distributing rice at a subsidized rate of Rs.2 per kg and drinking water supply schemes to provide good quality drinking water to the residence of this area.

Narayanan unfurled the tricolour Thursday morning as the state celebrated the 63rd Republic Day along with the rest of India.

The governor took the salute at a parade by the combined forces of the army, navy and air force on the Indira Gandhi Sarani, popularly known as Red Road.

An air force helicopter showered flower petals on the flag just after Narayanan unfurled it.

Kolkata Traffic Police, Eastern Railway and NCC cadets also took part in the colourful ceremony.

Five girls from Purulia district, who battled pressure from their families and called off their marriage in order to continue studies, also joined the parade on Red Road.

Colourful tableaux of the Election Commission, the industry department and West Bengal Power Development Corp were showcased at the two-hour ceremony, which drew huge crowds.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, several of her ministers and senior officials were present on the occasion.

A large number of organisations and clubs celebrated the Republic Day all over the state. National flags were also unfurled at offices of political parties here.

The governor organised a tea party at the Raj Bhavan here on the occasion for some eminent persons Thursday evening. The chief minister and other dignitaries attended the party.

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