President Pratibha Patil said, "Makar Sankranti and Pongal are expressions of the emotional unity that is India's strength. These are days of great festivity and rejoicing. May these festivals bind each one of us in fraternal love and affection and inspire us to work for the unity, progress and well being of our nation."
Vice President Hamid Ansari said these festivals symbolise the "warmth of love and brotherhood among the people of our country."
Celebrated in all parts of the country in myriad cultural forms with great fervour and gaiety, these festivals mark the beginning of the harvesting season, Ansari said in his message.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while extending his greetings, said, "may the festivals bring prosperity, happiness and joy for all."
"These festivals celebrate fresh harvest and emphasise the importance of sharing in our lives. They mark the beginning of an auspicious period of the year," he said in his message.