Maharashtra celebrated the 68th Republic Day with Governor C.V. Rao unfurling the Tricolour at the main state function, taking the salute at a ceremonial parade at the historic Shivaji Park here on Thursday.

Present on the occasion were Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, legislative assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagde, Mumbai Mayor Snehal Ambekar, top officials of the armed forces, the police, members of the diplomatic corps stationed in Mumbai, citizens and other dignitaries and invitees.

Addressing the gathering, Governor Rao urged the people to reaffirm the commitment to strengthen the democratic values enshrined in the Constitution and rededicate ourselves for the all round development of the country.

He highlighted the developments that have taken place in the state and country, adding Maharashtra has set up a Science and Technology Commission headed by Anil Kakodkar, former Atomic Energy Commission Chairman.

"With a view to ensure security of all citizens and prevent recurrence of terror crimes, 7,261 CCTV cameras have been installed in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur," the Governor said.

Referring to the upcoming elections to various civic bodies, Rao urged the people to exercise their franchise in an orderly and peaceful manner in the true spirit of democracy.

Lakhs of people from all sections of society, including college and school students, enthusiastically joined the celebrations at various public, government, social and private events held across the state, including in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Ahmednagar and at district headquarters.

The colourful parade in Mumbai saw a lively march past by units of the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, State Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Mumbai Armed Police, Mumbai Women Police, Mumbai Fire Brigade, National Cadet Corps, Road Safety Patrol, Bharat Scouts and Guides and other organisations.

Various government departments took out floats depicting their achievements in different fields and on various current topics like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and solar energy, besides cultural presentations showcasing different aspects of the state's social-cultural life.

The Congress units of Maharashtra and Mumbai, Nationalist Congress Party and other political parties also organised programmes to mark the day at their headquarters.

Central Railway General Manager D.K. Sharma and Western Railway General Manager G.C. Agarwal held celebrations of their organisations with the participation of top officials and staffers at their respective headquarters here.

Various government offices, departments, undertakings, universities, colleges, schools, housing complexes, social organisations and district collectorates also held flag hoisting celebrations.

As is customary, major Mumbai buildings like Mantralaya, the WR and CR headquarters, important landmarks and certain private buildings were colourfully illuminated since Wednesday night for the Republic Day.