PM, Sonia attend Christmas celebrations

From Our Special Correspondent

 NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi graced the “National Christmas Celebrations” of the year, while the famous Serenity choir from Meghalaya sang carols besides other programmes here on Thursday night.

During the interaction, the Prime Minister said this festival has become a symbol of unity in diversity.

Dr Singh praised the Christians for spreading education not only to the best and brightest but also the downtrodden.

“More and more people from other religions are celebrating this great festival in India,” Mrs Gandhi said and hoped that this spirit would continue for eternity.

On his arrival, Dr Singh was received by veteran Congress leader Oscar Feranandez and a child participant.

He was felicitated with a shawl and was escorted to the dais by Vincent H Pala, Union Minister of State Water Resources and Minority Affairs, who played a host of this gala event. Francisco Sardinha, Chairman of the Estimates Committee of Parliament, was also present.

Popular Christmas carols like “Silent Night”, “Jingle Bells”, “We wish you a Merry Christmas” and “Joy to the World” were sung by all led by Serenity Choir. The festivity continued till late in the night.

The grand convention hall of Ashoka Hotel was decorated with lights, candles, cakes and pine trees.

Several prominent persons including Union Ministers, Ambassadors, Church leaders and capital’s who’s who attended the celebrations.

Pala wished both Dr Singh and Mrs Gandhi of good health “so that they continue their good work for the country.”

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