Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will undertake a two-day visit to Darjeeling and Sikkim on October 24-25, said the ministry on Friday. Singh will visit forward areas and interact with troops.
He will also perform ‘Shastra Puja’ (worship of weapons) on Dussehra and inaugurate an infrastructure project build by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), during his visit.
The RMO tweeted, “Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh will be on a two-day visit to Darjeeling & Sikkim on October 24-25. He will visit forward areas and interact with troops. He will perform ‘Shastra Puja’ on Dussehra and also inaugurate an infrastructure project build by BRO, during his visit.”
Raksha Mantri Shri @rajnathsingh will be on a two day visit to Darjeeling & Sikkim on October 24-25. He will visit forward areas and interact with troops.
He will perform ‘Shastra Puja’ on Dussehra and also inaugurate an infrastructure project build by BRO, during his visit.
— रक्षा मंत्री कार्यालय/ RMO India (@DefenceMinIndia) October 23, 2020
On October 22, news agency PTI said that Singh will celebrate Dussehra with Army soldiers in a high-altitude border area in Sikkim. The defence minister’s decision to celebrate Dussehra with Army soldiers in the border area in Sikkim sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) comes in the midst of India’s border row with China in eastern Ladakh.
PTI sources said the defence minister will travel to Sikkim on Saturday afternoon, during which he will visit a number of border posts of the Indian Army besides inaugurating a few infrastructure projects. “The defence minister will spend Saturday night with Army soldiers to celebrate Dussehra. On Sunday, he will perform ‘shastra puja’ there,” said a PTI source.
The defence minister had performed ‘Shastra Puja’ in the French port city of Bordeaux during Dussehra 2019 as he was on a bilateral visit to the country then. Singh has been performing ‘Shastra Puja’ during Dussehra for the last several years, including during his tenure as the Union Home Minister in the previous NDA government. His visit to Sikkim to celebrate Dussehra will be a morale booster for the soldiers, said an official.
Almost all formations of the Indian Army along the LAC are on a very high level of alert in view of the border row with China in eastern Ladakh. India and China are locked in an over five-month-long bitter border standoff in eastern Ladakh that has significantly strained their ties. Both sides held a series of diplomatic and military talks to resolve the row. However, no breakthrough has been achieved to end the standoff.