Vice President M Hamid Ansari and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan also attended the high scale event at Subhash Maidan, where an effigy of Ravan, the demon king killed by Ram in epic Ramayana, was burnt in a depiction of the destruction of evil.

The Prime Minister was seen chatting with his predecessor Manmohan Singh and Gandhi, before the arrival of Ansari and finally the President.

The dignitaries lit a ceremonial lamp, and were also seen putting tilak and offering flowers to actors depicting Ram and Lakshman at the event venue.

Modi also paid floral tribute to the actor dressed as Hanuman, who was standing behind Ram and Lakshman.

The leaders also released white doves, as a message of peace. President Mukherjee, in a message to the people, said the festival is symbol of "victory of good on evil".

The Prime Minister was then symbolically handed over a bow and an arrow, after which the effigy of Ravan was burnt.

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