Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned 69 on Tuesday and was greeted by several leaders, including Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP president and Home Minister Amit Shah.
In his message, Naidu said the nation is making steady progress under Modi's able leadership. Shah described Modi as a leader with strong willpower and a symbol of decisive leadership and hard work. "Under your leadership, an emerging India has made a mark in the world as a strong, safe and reliable nation," Shah said on Twitter. Singh said the prime minister has been instrumental in building and strengthening India's position in the comity of nations.
"His visionary leadership has helped India in scaling new heights of glory. I pray for his good health and long life," the defence ministry tweeted. Modi has a packed schedule and will spend most part of the day in Gujarat. His schedule includes a visit to the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river, whose water level has reached its highest mark for the first time, to kickoff the "Namami Narmade" festival. For the first time since the height of the Sarovar dam was raised in 2017, the water level reached its highest peak at 138.68 metres on Sunday evening. The dam was inaugurated by PM Modi on this day in 2017. After visiting the dam site at Kevadiya, the prime minister would address a gathering.
After his address, the PM would inspect some ongoing developmental projects near the dam and the Statue of Unity. The prime minister is also expected to visit the temple of Lord Dattatreya at Garudeshwar village near Kevadiya. On his 68th birthday last year, Modi was in his Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi with school children. He visited a primary school and celebrated his birthday with students. He later offered prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath temple there.