President in Bangalore

Bangalore, Sep 23 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee arrived here Monday on a two-day visit to Karnataka to participate in official functions.

"The president, who flew into the city from Mysore, was given a red carpet welcome by state Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy and Mayor B.S. Satyanarayana. He also received a guard of honour from the Indian Air Force (IAF) warriors at the HAL airport," an official told IANS.

This is the first visit of Mukherjee to Bangalore after he became president in August 2012, though he visited Belgaum in the northern region of the state in October last year to inaugurate the new legislative building Suvarna Soudha in the border city, about 500 km from here.

Late afternoon, Mukherjee unveiled the new building of the JSS Hospital at Mysore, about 150 km from here, and addressed the gathering on the occasion.

Governor H.R. Bhardwaj and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah accompanied Mukherjee from Mysore, as they had also participated in the hospital function.

"Later, the president released 'A Cultural Odyssey of Karnataka', a coffee-table book brought by Raj Bhavan, containing rich information on places, personalities and cuisine of the state with pictures," the official said.

Mukherjee was also treated to Carnatic music by the state's noted vocalist R.K. Padmanabha and Hindustani classical music by Ustad Faiyaz Khan at the governor's official residence in the city.

"The governor hosted a banquet for the president at Raj Bhavan, where the chief minister, some cabinet ministers and other dignitaries were present," the official added.

On the second day of his visit, the president will participate Tuesday in the golden jubilee celebrations of Sainik School at Bijapur in the northern region of the state, about 510 km from Bangalore.

The president will leave for Chennai later in the day via Belgaum.

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