Mera Houchongba, a festival to promote solidarity and integrity among different ethnic communities in Manipur was celebrated at historic Kangla Fort in Imphal on Wednesday.
Performance of age-old rituals, exchange of gifts and presentation of cultural items of different communities were the highlights of the celebration.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh accompanied by art and culture minister L Jayantakumar Singh, forest minister Th Shyamkumar, revenue minister Karam Shyam, public health engineering minister L Dikho, social welfare minister Nemcha Kipgen along with MLAs and officials attended the celebration.
Addressing the gathering chief minister N Biren Singh said the present government is trying its level best to bring peaceful co-existence and harmony among the communities of the state.
Expressing his happiness for massive people turn out this year as compared to Mera Houchongba festival last year, he said the government has constituted a permanent Organising Committee of Mera Houchongba for the celebration.
It was a childhood aspiration to bring unity and integrity among all the communities living in the state, he added.
To ease the inconvenience faced by the people residing in remote areas of the state, the second phase of Manipur State Transport passenger bus service has been started on Wednesday in Imphal-Jessami, Imphal-Kamjong, Imphal-Tamenglong routes.
The titular King of Manipur Meidingu Leishemba Sanajaoba attended the celebration wherein the chief minister also exchanged gifts with hill leaders including minister L Dikho who hails from Mao in Senapati district.