Members of Gujarat's Koli community met and greeted President Ramnath Kovind and his wife on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan on Monday. President Kovind hails from the same community.
A delegation of 116 women and 27 men, representing the Koli Samaj in Gujarat, tied the traditional 'rakhi' on the hands of both President Kovind and his wife, Savita Kovind.
The Koli community refers to a section of people belonging to the Other Backward Classes or OBC faction, a huge chunk of which lives in Gujarat.
The appointment of President Kovind was seen in the light of garnering votes from this community, as he was hailed to be the leading figure for them. Media reports even suggested that President Kovind was the head of the Akhil Bharatiya Koli Samaj.
On the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, the festival celebrating the love and duty between brothers and sisters, President Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended their greetings to the nation.
The two leaders took to twitter to convey their greetings to the nation on this auspicious occasion.
रक्षाबंधन के पावन पर्व पर देशवासियों को बहुत-बहुत बधाई। Greetings on Raksha Bandhan.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 7, 2017
May Raksha Bandhan, symbolising the virtues of love, affection & mutual trust, bring happiness & prosperity to all #PresidentKovind— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 7, 2017
Earlier, few widows from Vrindavan and students from various schools welcomed the festival by tying home-made rakhis for Prime Minister Modi at his official residence at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg.
Meanwhile, in Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and his son Lokesh on Monday celebrated Raksha Bandhan with Telugu Desam Party (TDP) women leaders.
Cabinet minister Paritala Sunita, Mrunalini, Peetala Sujata, Zilla Parishat Chairperson G Anuradha, Brahamakumaries took part in the celebration.
In a symbolic gesture of extending gratitude to Prime Minister Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for their efforts towards ending the practice of triple Talaq, Muslim women from Lucknow sent Rakhis for the two leaders, wishing them to continue the good work they initiated.
"Prime Minister Modi and CM Yogi have supported us in our fight against triple talaq and played the role of being a brother. Because of that we all have decided that we will also take the responsibility of being their sister by sending rakhis to our brother PM Modi Ji and CM Yogi ji," one of the Muslim women told ANI.
Carrying the photographs of both the leaders, Muslim women sitting at Imambada said, "Maulana did not support us, our voices were suppressed but PM Modi, CM Yogi stood by us and raised their voices against this issue. I say, what Modi is doing for the country is very good. What he is doing for women, especially for Muslim women, is very good. We also hope that our brothers will be with us in future as well, we pray for them that Allah will make their efforts even better."
In another part of the state, students from Moradabad made a 100- feet long 'Rakhi' for the Indian soldiers at the border, depicting the culture of every state and unity of every religion.
Similarly, school girls in Jammu and Kashmir's Udhampur district celebrated Raksha Bandhan with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldiers deployed for Amarnath Yatra security.
The students from Poonch Sector visited the CRPF camp of 137 Bn Udhampur to tie rakhi to the soldiers deployed for the security of Amarnath Yatra from the last 40 days.
Raksha bandhan means "bond of protection". On this day, a sister ties a rakhi (sacred thread) on her brother's wrist with a prayer for his prosperity and happiness. This symbolises the sister's love. In return, the brother gives her a gift and a promise to protect her.