The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, visited his "home state" of Uttar Pradesh for the first time as the President of India today (September 14, 2017). He commenced his visit to the State by paying tributes at the Dr. Ambedkar Mahasabha (Asthi Kalash) in Lucknow.
Later in the day, the President was felicitated at a Civic Reception in Lucknow in the presence of the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Ram Naik; Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Yogi Adityanath; Dy. Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh Shri Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dr. Dinesh Sharma; Speaker of Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha, Shri Hridya Narayna Dikshit and other dignitaries.
Speaking at the Civic Reception, the President said that this is his first visit to Uttar Pradesh after assuming the office of President of India. He stated that Uttar Pradesh is the "heartland" of India. Prominent streams of religion, culture, literature, art and politics have flowed from this State. Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim traditions find representation in Ayodhya, Mathura, Kashi, Chitrakoot, Sarnath and Fatehpur Sikri, among other places. Uttar Pradesh is the State of both the Kumbh Mela and the Taj Mahal.
The President said that great politicians from Uttar Pradesh, including Madan Mohan Malaviya, Acharya Narendra Dev, Purushottam Das Tandon, Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Choudhary Charan Singh, gave a new direction to our national life. This State, with a population of 22 crore, offers enormous opportunities and has the potential to decide the future of India.