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In a bid to boost the morale of the troops deployed against the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) along the border with China, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will arrive in Sikkim on October 25 and visit the forward areas and interact with the troops.

Rajnath Singh on Saturday departed for Darjeeling from the national capital on a two-day visit to West Bengal and Sikkim.

Singh is likely to perform Shastra Puja at one of the local units deployed in Sikkim near the China border, in which arms are worshipped annually in Dusshera by the warrior class.

During his visit to the Himalayan State, the Defence Minister will also inaugurate a strategically vital alternate road to Nathula. The new alternate road constructed by Border Road Organisation is a 19.3-kilometre long double lane stretch which will connect State Capital Gangtok with Nathula.

Earlier, the road to Nathula was a sinking road, where landslides and mud slips were a regular feature during rainy season. The Defence Minister will be accompanied by Sikkim Chief Minister PS Tamang during the inauguration of the new road to the frontier.

Later, Rajnath Singh will also inaugurate the newly constructed Thakur Bari Temple in Gangtok. The inauguration of the Temple was postponed earlier this year due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This visit of Rajnath Singh to the Northeast is the first since border tensions first broke out between India and China in April-May this year in Ladakh. Notably, India shares 885-kilometre long border with China in the Northeastern sector.