New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday hailed Maharashtra for its attitude of "always thinking of the nation" and not for the state. "Maharashtra can never think of the state... It always thinks of the nation," he said after inaugurating the new Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi. The President also said that Maharashtra and Mumbai have always shown an "indomitable spirit of moving ahead" in spite of all challenges and terror attacks once in early 90s and after 26/11 incidents.
"People of Bombay and Maharashtra have rose to the occasion... (giving the message) We are not cowed down by the attacks... We are ready to face challenges amid adversities... Salam Bombay," he said. He recalled how Rabindranath Tagore had written a beautiful poem on the unification of India depicting unity in diversity when Lokmanya Tilak started a festival to pay tributes to Shivaji Maharaj. Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, who presided, said that it was apt that Mukherjee has inaugurated the building as "Bengal and Maharashtra are two states which have created history in the country".
Mukherjeee, who went around the Sadan, described it as "not only the largest state house in the capital, but perhaps the most modern and state of the art building" in the category. The Sadan has been designed capturing the grandeur and beauty of Maharashtra's architecture so as to depict the state's cultural heritage. Having 138 suites, the Sadan houses a state of the art auditorium, video conferencing facility, five conference rooms and a press briefing room. It has a built up area of 1.70 lakh sq feet.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and state PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal also spoke on the occasion.