PM Modi prays at Sant Ravidas temple on day two at Varanasi

  • Sudhir Kumar, Hindustan Times, Varanasi
  • Updated: Feb 22, 2016 12:57 IST
BJP supporters taking out a rally during an election campaign in Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh. (AP File Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered prayers at the Sant Ravidas temple in Seer Goverdhanpur on the second day of his visit to his constituency, marking Sant Ravidas Jayanti on Monday.

The Prime Minister spent 15 minutes at the Shri Guru Ravidas Janmasthan Mandir where he offered prayers and received prasad besides doing a darshan of the golden palaki (palanquin) and Kathauti (wooden bowl).

While there, Modi also called on Mahant of mandir Sant Mandip Das and the management committee members.

He then made his way to the Banaras Hindu University, where he is attending the convocation with Union human resource minister, Smriti Irani.

Vice-chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi said that the university was honoured by Modi’s visit. “It is a matter of great pride to have Prime Minister Narendra Modi as our chief guest. We are keen to hear him… we hope that his speech will inspire our students,” he said.

As many as 34 students will receive medals from the Prime Minister. Over 400 students will also be honoured for securing the highest marks in various examinations.

Modi is in Varanasi on a two-day visit, a trip that the opposition says is aimed wooing Dalit votes.

The Bharatiya Janata Party however denied the claim, with BJP leader Karunesh Sharma saying there were no politics scripting the visit.

“PM Modi visited temple to offer prayers to Sant Ravidas Ji Maharaj. His visit is imbibed with faith. There is no politics behind it,” Union minister Vijay Sampla also said.

Nearly one lakh followers of Sant Ravidas have gathered at the temple from Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh to take part in the celebrations.

Around 50 tents have been set up in the area where langars and keertans will take place.

This is the Prime Minister’s second visit to his Lok Sabha constituency in 2016. He had earlier visited Varanasi on January 22 when he distributed assistive devices to around 10,000 divyangs, a term Modi has used to refer to differently-abled people.

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