In a statement issued late on Sunday, the Chief Minister said the day provided a chance to introspect how far the country had come in achieving the ideals for which freedom fighters laid down their lives.

He expressed hope that on this national festival people will commit themselves to take the country forward on the path of progress and prosperity.

He also regretted the fact that he missed the opportunity to welcome the visiting US President Barack Obama at the Taj Mahal.

In a post on his verified page on Facebook, Yadav posted a picture of the presidential banquet in New Delhi that he attended and wrote: "Missed the opportunity to welcome President @BarackObama at the Taj Mahal."

He added that it was "great to be a part of people to people relationship, between the two greatest democracies in the world."  

Yadav was among several dignitaries who attended the dinner hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in honour of the visiting US president and First Lady Michelle Obama.

The couple was scheduled to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra on Monday but this was struck off the itinerary after the White House announced that the US president would head to Saudi Arabia to pay homage to the late Saudi king Abdullah

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