Prez, PM greets Sonia on 61st birthday

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New Delhi, Dec 9 (UNI) President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a host of other Congress leaders today greeted UPA chairperson and Congress President Sonia Gandhi on her 61st birthday.

Ms Patil sent a bouquet of flowers to Ms Gandhi on the occasion.

Dr Singh also presented a bouquet to the Congress President when he called on her at 10 Janpath residence to personally greet her.

Unmindful of the chilly weather, party workers started thronging the road outside her residence since morning. The number swelled by the noon, forcing the police to close the road for general traffic.

Party workers from Delhi and other states took out processions on the Akbar road shouting slogans in praise of Ms Gandhi and her leadership.

Workers were seen in groups beating drums, dancing and bursting fire crackers.

The Congress leader made a personal appearance once before the euphoric crowd outside her residence and thanked them for their greetings.

Among the prominent Congress leaders who visited Ms Gandhi's residence were : Pranab Mukherjee, A K Antony, Arjun Singh, Shivraj Patil, Mani Shankar Iyer, Saifuddin Soz, Sheila Dikshit, Y S Rajashekhar Reddy, Girija Vyas and Motilal Vora.

Big posters and tableaux were seen displayed at many places, including in front of the AICC and 10 Janpath.

All India Mahila Congress workers visited a home for blind people and provided them lunch.

The Women and Child Development Ministry had proposed to declare December 9 as ''National Girl Child Day'' on the occasion of Ms Gandhi's birthday.

Ms Gandhi, however, rejected the proposal, apparently unimpressed by the attempted flattery.

UNI

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