Thackeray says human beings have given up, prays for miracle to overcome Covid crisis
This was the first time that Uddhav Thackeray offered prayers at the Pandharpur temple as Maharashtra CM.Updated: Jul 01, 2020 16:13 IST
Maharashtra Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray performed special prayers at the Lord Vitthal temple in Pandharpur on early Wednesday morning on the auspicious occasion of Ashadi Ekadashi.
He prayed for making Maharashtra and the world free from the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak and healthy life for one and all.
“I (Uddhav Thackeray) prayed to the Lord that now I want to see magic. Show me that magic because as humans our hands are clasped. We don’t have medicine or anything else. How to live with a mask on our faces? Start destroying corona from today and give the entire world a happy and healthy life,” tweeted Chief Minister’s office (CMO).
This was the first time that Thackeray offered prayers at the Pandharpur temple as Maharashtra CM.
It is a long-standing tradition in Maharashtra for the CM and his spouse to attend the morning prayers at the Lord Vitthal temple in Pandharpur on the auspicious occasion of Ashadi Ekadashi.
Thackeray was accompanied by his wife Rashmi and son Aaditya, who is also the state’s environment and tourism minister.
Despite Shiv Sena being part of previous governments, the Thackerays never took part in this tradition, as no member had contested any election till recently.
Aaditya was the first member of the family to contest and win the assembly elections last year.
Thackeray, too, got elected this year as a member of the Legislative Council to retain his post as the CM.
Traditionally, lakhs of warkaris (pilgrims) – devotees of Lord Vitthal – undertake the wari (pilgrimage) on foot from across Maharashtra and reach Pandharpur on Ashadi Ekadashi, which was observed on Wednesday.
The authorities had decided to keep the celebrations low-key this year because of the Covid-19 outbreak.
They had decided that this year, the wari, with the padukas (footprints) of Saint Dnyaneshwar, Saint Tukaram, and seven others would be taken to Pandharpur by bus with a limited number of people, not on foot as it is traditionally done.
Pandharpur district collector has also decided to close the temple to devotees between July 1 and 15 in a bid to maintain social distancing norms because of the viral outbreak.