Soldiers in Poonch district of Jammu celebrate Diwali

From Prime Minister Narendra Modi's impromptu Gurez visit to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's visit to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, many politicians chose to celebrate Diwali this year with the Indian troops and the marginalised sections of our society. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said the paddy bonus disbursed to farmers ahead of Diwali helped them in their festival shopping and also strengthened the economy.

He also said that spending time with forces has given him new energy.

PM Modi said that like everyone else, he too wishes to spend Diwali with his family and that is why he had come among the jawans of the armed forces.

Modi had spent Diwali 2014 with the people of Kashmir, when the state was recovering from devastating floods.

Modi arrived in the Gurez sector this morning to celebrate Diwali with troops posted in the forward area close to the Line of Control (LoC).

"Our Forces protect our Motherland with utmost valour, displaying highest traditions of sacrifice and dedication", he added. The Prime Minister spent his fourth successive Diwali with jawans on the border.

The prime minister said he had been told the soldiers on the borders regularly practice yoga and that it would "definitely enhance their abilities, and give them a sense of calm".

He offered candies and gifts and exchanged greetings with the soldiers, and thanked them for the sacrifices they make to protect the country. "On this occasion, let us initiate efforts towards illuminating the lives of all with joy and prosperity...let us share our happiness with the needy", President Kovind had said.

Modi also had a word of advice for the troops, who leave the force after serving for some years, to train themselves as yoga trainers.

He spoke about the implementation of One Rank, One Pension, which has been pending for decades. You will be surprised and you will be happy.

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