Union Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt interacted with the soldiers and took stock of operational preparedness of the South Western Command, also known as Sapta Shakti Command, during his two-day visit to the state, an official said on Tuesday.

Bhatt was in Rajasthan to participate in the National Defence Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Conference and Exhibition at Dussehra Ground in Kota, during which he also visited military stations at Jaipur and Kota.

Defence spokesperson Lt Col Amitabh Sharma said Bhatt arrived in Jaipur on Monday and was received by Lt Gen AS Bhinder, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Sapta Shakti Command.

He said Bhatt appreciated the jawans for their contribution in humanitarian aid and relief during the recent floods in the state. He also called upon jawans and officers to continue their work with the same enthusiasm.

Lt Col Sharma said the minister called upon MSMEs to invest more in research and development and promote manufacturing to the country’s security and progress.

He also paid floral tributes at the war memorial to commemorate the sacrifice of those who lost their lives defending the country.