Pres, VP, Sonia among prominent guests at Army Chief's 'At Home'

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New Delhi, Jan 15 (UNI) President Pratibha Patil, Vice President Mohd Hamid Ansari, Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi and Leader of Opposition L K Advani were among the prominent guests at the 'At Home' reception of Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor to mark the 60th Army Day.

Among the other prominent guests were Defence Minister A K Antony, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Meira Kumar, Tribal Affairs Minister P R Kyndiah, Panchayati Raj Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjeet Singh, Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh, Naval Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta and IAF chief ACM F H Major.

The theme this year was the North-East, with a spirited display of martial arts of the region, while various colourful motifs and artefacts from the area were used to decorate the sprawling lawns around the imposing house of the Army Chief.

President Patil cut the huge chocolate cake, topped with a figurine of 'Bravo' (the mascot of the recently-concluded Military World Games), with the assistance of the Army Chief's wife Kirti, to mark the occasion.

She also went around the venue interacting with all the people gathered there, and especially the bravery award winners and the relatives of those winning it posthumously.

Several serving and retired officers from all the three services including former Army Chiefs JJ Singh and VP Malik and former Air Force chiefs S Krishnaswamy and S K Sareen, military attaches from various countries, including Pakistan, China, UK, Russia and France and senior diplomats, including Pakistan's High Commissioner Shahid Malik, were also present on the occasion.

UNI VD RSA GC1857

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