Manmohan Singh on Thursday became the first Prime Minister outside the Gandhi-Nehru family to unfurl the national tri-colour from the ramparts of the Red Fort for the 10th time.

Only Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughter Indira Gandhi have hoisted the flag more than 10 times at the Red Fort.

Nehru had hoisted the national flag 17 consecutive times while Indira Gandhi got the honour 16 times. Indira Gandhi had unfurled the flag 11 consecutive times between 1966 and 1977.

Dr. Singh, who assumed office on May 22, 2009 for the second consecutive term, already has the distinction of being the third longest serving Prime Minister after Nehru and Gandhi.

Dr. Singh’s predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee had unfurled the tricolour from the Red Fort six consecutive times from 1998 to 2003.

Dr. Singh, the country’s 14th Prime Minister, first hoisted the tricolour on August 15, 2004, nearly four months after he assumed office in May.

Nehru was the first Prime Minister to unfurl the flag from the ramparts of the 17th century Mughal monument on August 15, 1947 after India became independent.

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