New Delhi: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday hoisted the National Flag for the seventh straight time at the Red Fort on the occasion of 74th Independence Day. With this, he became the first non-Congress Prime Minister to do so most frequently. He surpassed the number of times late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had hoisted the flag on Independence Day.
Modi first hoisted the national flag on the Red Fort in 2014 when he elected as Prime Minister for the first time and in the second term of his government last year hoisted the tricolor for the sixth time, equaling the first Prime Minister of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who headed the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, hoisted the tricolor six times between 19 March 1998 and 22 May 2004. In 1996, Vajpayee government could not run long and due to which he didn’t get the opportunity to hoist the national flag.
Morarji Desai of Janata Party government hoisted the tricolor twice at the ramparts of the Red Fort in 1977 and 1978. After this, on 28 July 1979, Chaudhary Charan Singh became the Prime Minister with the support of the Samajwadi Parties and the Congress (U) and hoisted the tricolor for the first.
Apart from Charan Singh, Vishwanath Pratap Singh, HD Deve Gowda, and Indra Kumar Gujral were also non-Congress Prime Ministers who had the privilege of hoisting the tricolor one by one. The country’s first prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted the flag from the Red Fort on 15 August 1947 in independent India.
Nehru was the prime minister of the country till 27 March 1964 and during this time he hoisted the flag on record 15 times on 15 August. It is followed by Indira Gandhi (11) and Manmohan Singh (10).