DEHRAUN/HARIDWAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday performed puja at the Kedarnath shrine for the first time after he assumed office in 2014.
The portals of the shrine were re-opened at 8.53am in morning amid chanting of Vedas.
Minutes later, Modi participated in a special puja, ‘Rudrabhisekh’. Chief minister TS Rawat, BJP leaders and ministers were present with the Prime Minister at Kedarnath.
A large number of pilgrims were kept waiting owing to security reasons till the PM’s puja was over. Soon after performing puja, Modi exchanged greetings with the main priest. He was presented ‘Prasad’ and a replica of the temple among others. Later, he met the pilgrims waiting for their turn in the line. Several people clicked pictures of the PM.
Modi had taken an aerial survey of Kedarnath after it was ravaged in June 2013 after the flashfloods that killed over 5,000 pilgrims. The erstwhile Congress government had also invited Modi at Kedarnath.
Earlier in the morning, Modi arrived at the Dehradun airport where he was received by Rawat and BJP MPs. The BJP government is hoping to get a fillip from the Centre after the PM visit in Kedarnath. The erstwhile Congress government had undertaken massive reconstruction works in the Kedarnath valley after the flashfloods.
From Kedarnath, Modi reached Haridwar to inaugurate a research centre at yoga guru Ramdev promoted Patanjali. He praised Ramdev for his role in promoting yoga. “It was our responsibility to promote our knowledge but our governments could not do this. We should not forget how we achieved and save this heritage. It’s our duty to promote this heritage with the help of modern techniques,” he asserted.
Praising Ramdev, Modi said he was very happy the way the yoga guru was working to develop Ayurved with modern techniques. Ramdev conferred upon the ‘Rashtriya Rishi’ title on Modi. Ramdev praised Modi as the only Prime Minister who is proud to be a Hindu.