This Article is From Oct 23, 2014

PM Modi Spends Time With Soldiers at Siachen Ahead of Srinagar Visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for the Siachen glacier on Thursday

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached Siachen, the world's highest battlefield in Jammu and Kashmir, to spend some time with the soldiers as he begins his packed Diwali day on Thursday.

This morning, he tweeted, "Friends, I am leaving for Siachen Glacier. Its my good fortune that I will be able to spend time with our brave soldiers on this special day." He will be the first Prime Minister to visit Siachen in 10 years.

In a series of tweets, PM Modi paid tribute to thousands of soldiers, who, he said, stand firm, protecting the country. "Be it the altitude or bitter cold, nothing deters our soldiers. They stand there, serving our Nation. They make us truly proud," he said on Twitter.

Mr Modi tweeted that he was going to Siachen with a message from "Each and every indian to our soldiers - we stand shoulder to shoulder with you! (sic)"

Later today, the Prime Minister will visit Srinagar, which is still recovering from the floods last month, the worst the state has seen in 100 years.

After landing in Srinagar in the afternoon, the Prime Minister is expected to go to the Raj Bhawan where delegations of the BJP, People's Democratic Party (PDP) and National Conference are expected to meet him. At least 12 delegations of traders and other flood sufferers are also expected to meet him.

PM Modi will reportedly review rehabilitation measures and visit a relief camp. He is expected to announce a central package for flood victims before flying back to Delhi in the evening.

This will be his fourth visit to Jammu and Kashmir since taking charge as prime minister in May.

Close to 300 died and more than 1.5 million people were affected by the floods in Jammu and Kashmir. Mr Modi visited Srinagar once before to survey the large-scale damage.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted, "Let's just appreciate that @narendramodi is in Srinagar on his festival & not at home celebrating as he normally would have been doing (sic)."

The Election Commission could soon announce dates for elections in Jammu and Kashmir. The state is due for polls by November.