New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver his speech at the U.N. General Assembly in New York in Hindi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Sunday.

Addressing a function organized on the occasion of Hindi Divas, the Home Minister said Atal Behari Vajpayee was the first prime minister to deliver his speech in the United Nations in Hindi.

“I, as a minister, once delivered my speech in the United Nations in Hindi.... Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver his speech in United Nations in Hindi. The prime minister also speaks Hindi when he meets foreign dignitaries,” he said to applause at the function at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

President Pranab Mukherjee was present at the function.

Modi is to address the United Nations General Assembly on September 27.

Singh said 55% of country’s population speaks Hindi while 85-90% understand Hindi.

Singh said people like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, Mahatma Gandhi and N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar had advocated expansion and popularization of Hindi even though it was not their mother tongue.

"Hindi is the common language of the country," he said.

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