In line with his practice of celebrating Diwali with soldiers since the NDA government came to power in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to spend the festival with troops deployed at a forward base in the western sector, officials familiar with the development said on Friday.
The PM is likely to celebrate Diwali with soldiers in Jaisalmer even though his final itinerary has been kept under wraps, the officials said asking not to be named.
He spent his first Diwali with soldiers as PM in Siachen in 2014 in a rare and unannounced visit. He has followed the practice every year by celebrating the festival with soldiers in forward areas.
His visit is expected to boost the morale of soldiers at a time Indian is locked in a border dispute with China in eastern Ladakh and the situation along the Line of Control with Pakistan has also been volatile.
“The details of the PM’s itinerary are not known but he is expected to visit Jaisalmer and interact with troops there. His message to troops will boost the morale of front-line soldiers,” the officials said. Preparations have also been made at another location in the same sector for the PM to spend Diwali with soldiers, the officials said.
PM Modi expressed gratitude to soldiers for their service on the eve of Diwali.
“This Diwali, let us also light a Diya as a #Salute2Soldiers who fearlessly protect our nation. Words can’t do justice to the sense of gratitude we have for our soldiers for their exemplary courage. We are also grateful to the families of those on the borders,” Modi tweeted.