A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese president Xi Jinping agreed on opening an alternative route to Kailash Mansarovar, Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat said it goes against religious sentiments.
Rawat on Friday appealed to the five BJP MPs from Uttarakhand to take up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and convince him that seeking an alternative route for the pilgrimage would be tantamount to going against the sanctity of the traditional route and riding rough shod over the religious sentiments of people across the country.
"Agreement with China over an alternative route to Mansarovar through Nathula goes against religious sentiments of people throughout the country as it is not in keeping with the centuries-old scriptures which recognise only the traditional route for the pilgrimage passing through Uttarakhand," Rawat said in a statement here.
Instead of seeking an alternative route to Mansarovar, it would be better to strengthen the infrastructure along the traditional one passing through Uttarakhand, he said.
Rawat had opposed the proposal for an alternative route to Mansarovar even when it was first made by Modi at the BRICS summit in July this year.
In a letter to Modi soon after the summit, Rawat had said the traditional route going through Dharchula and Siyalekh in Uttarakhand is the only route recognised by the age old Hindu scriptures and any attempt to find another route would mean showing disrespect to scriptures like Manaskhand and the sentiments of Uttarakhandis, Rawat had said in the letter.
"The route going to Mansarovar through Uttarakhand via Chota Kailash and Om Parvat, though difficult," is the only traditionally acknowledged route which was taken by Rishi Parmanand Ji Maharaj as many as 21 times to reach there.
"Even noted historian Rahul Sankrityayan preferred this difficult route rather than the one through Kathmandu in Nepal to reach Mansarovar and finding any other route via China will hurt the sentiments of people of Uttarakhand," the Chief Minister had said
Modi and Xi on Thursday had agreed on the alternative road through Nathu La which would be motorable even in rainy season and make the trip easier for senior citizens.