Dr. Manmohan Singh on Sunday became the third Prime Minister to
hoist the national flag from the ramparts of Red Fort for the
seventh time in a row, after Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.
By hoisting the tricolour this morning, Dr. Singh overtook his
predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who had the honour of unfurling
the national flag from the majestic Red Fort six times.
Dr. Singh, who assumed office on May 22 last year for the second
consecutive term, already has the distinction of being the third
longest serving Prime Minister in the country after Jawaharlal Nehru
and his daughter Indira.
The historic Mughal monument has seen Nehru, the first Prime
Minister of independent India, unfurling the national flag 17 times.
He is closely followed by his daughter Indira Gandhi who had the
honour of unfurling the flag 16 times.
Dr. Singh, the country’s 14th Prime Minister, first hoisted the
tricolour on August 15, 2004, three months after he assumed office.
In his speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Sunday, the Prime
Minister made a fresh bid to bring the Maoists to the negotiating
table and appealed to them to abjure violence and come forward for
"Whatever differences we have with our neighbouring
countries, we want to resolve them through discussions. As far as
Pakistan is concerned, we expect from them that they would not let
their territory be used for acts of terrorism against India," Singh
said addressing the nation from the ramparts of the majestic Red
He said India has been emphasising this in all its discussions with
"If this is not done, we cannot progress far in our dialogue with
Pakistan," Singh said.
He underlined that India wants prosperity, peace and harmony in its
He also made it clear that India wants to resolve differences with
Pakistan through dialogue but much progress cannot be made unless
terrorism emanating from its territory ends.