UTTARAKHAND: Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated Diwali with jawans of the Indian Army and ITBP at Harsil district near the India-China border in Uttarakhand.
"Your dedication to duty in the remote icy heights is the strength of the nation. You are securing the future and the dreams of 125 crore Indians," he told to the jawans.
Modi also spoke of various measures being taken for the welfare of ex-servicemen, including ‘One Rank, One Pension’.
Modi recalled that he has been visiting soldiers on Diwali day, after becoming the prime minister in 2014, and he offered sweets to the jawans.
He also interacted with people from nearby areas who had gathered to greet him on Diwali.
"Happy Diwali, May this festival brings happiness, good health and prosperity in everyone's lives. May the power of good and brightness always prevail", he had posted on his twitter.
“On behalf of the people of Israel, I would like to wish my dear friend Narendra Modi and the people of India a joyous Diwali. May this luminous festival of lights bring you happiness and prosperity”, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted on Tuesday.
Responding to Diwali greeting from Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Modi had said,
“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,” Modi had tweeted on Tuesday.
After the meeting with Jawans, PM Modi reached Kedarnath where he will offer prayers and review the progress of reconstruction projects at Kedarpuri.
During his visit to Kedarnath on October 20 last year, Modi had laid the foundation stone of five reconstruction projects at Kedarpuri area, which encompasses the Kedarnath shrine.
Modi will review the five projects, including the widening of the approach road to Kedarnath, construction of ghats and retaining walls on rivers Mandakini and Saraswati, construction of houses for the teerth purohits (priests), and construction of a grand ‘samadhi sthal’ of Adi Sankara.
Modi has spent Diwali with the armed forces every year after coming to power.
In 2014, he had spent Diwali in Jammu and Kashmir's Siachen with Army jawans and in 2015, he had visited the Punjab border and marked 50 years of the 1965 Indo-Pak war.
In 2016, Modi was in Himachal Pradesh where he spent time with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel at a border outpost and in 2017 he spent his day with soldiers at Gurez in Jammu and Kashmir.