Amritsar: With his government having faced a tough year, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wants to usher in the new year with prayers at the Harmandar Sahib, the holiest of Sikh shrines, popularly known as the Golden Temple.
He is expected to arrive here Saturday evening with his wife Gursharan Kaur and will go to the Harmandar Sahib very early Sunday morning to offer prayers on New Year Day, a police officer said here Saturday. The visit is being termed by officials as a "private one".
"He will stay at the Circuit House overnight. Additional security personnel have been requisitioned from neighbouring districts to have foolproof security in place. SPG (special protection group that protects the prime minister) officials are camping here already to ensure all security measures are in place," the officer said, speaking only on condition of anonymity.
Amritsar deputy commissioner Rajat Aggarwal confirmed that the prime minister would arrive here Saturday evening and visit the Golden Temple complex early Sunday. He will fly back to Delhi Sunday afternoon.
Amritsar city has been shivering a sub-zero temperatures in the last one week with the minimum temperature recorded Friday morning being at minus 2.1 degrees - the lowest temperature of the winter season.
The prime minister, who lived and studied in this city after his family migrated here from Rawalpindi after partition, also has some relatives who are settled here.
A devout Sikh, the prime minister had last visited the shrine in March 2009, just a few weeks after his coronary bypass surgery at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.