Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday celebrated Diwali with jawans of the Indian Army and ITBP at Harsil district near the India-China border in Uttarakhand. Modi arrived at Kedarnath to offer prayers and review the progress of the Kedarpuri reconstruction projects. Ahead of his visit, 5,100 earthen lamps were lit to decorate the Himalayan shrine Tuesday evening for the first time in its history.
Greeting the jawans on Diwali, the Prime Minister said that their devotion to duty in the remote icy heights, is enabling the strength of the nation, and securing the future and the dreams of 125 crore Indians.
— ANI (@ANI) November 7, 2018
Modi also spoke of various measures being taken for the welfare of ex-servicemen, including One Rank, One Pension, adding that the Indian Armed Forces draw admiration and appreciation across the world, in UN peacekeeping operations.
After becoming the prime minister in 2014, Modi has spent Diwali with the armed forces every year. “Every year, I visit our border areas and surprise our troops. This year, too, I will spend Diwali with our brave troops. Spending time with them is special,” he had said on Tuesday.
In 2015, Modi visited the Punjab border on Diwali. His visit had coincided with 50 years of the 1965 Indo-Pak war. The next year, Modi was in Himachal Pradesh, where he spent time with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel at a border outpost. He had spent his fourth Diwali as prime minister with soldiers at Gurez in Jammu and Kashmir last year.