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In first visit to Kerala in 2nd term, PM offers prayers at Guruvayur temple

This is the first public appearance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his thanksgiving trip to his constituency in Varanasi.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2019 12:20 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Guruvayur
Guruvayur,Tirupati temple,Temple town
Prime Minister Narendra Modi being weighed with lotus flowers at the Sri Krishna Temple in Guruvayur in Kerala Saturday morning .(ANI )

Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered prayers at the Sri Krishna Temple in Guruvayur in Kerala Saturday morning in his first public appearance after his thanksgiving trip to his constituency Varanasi.

The Prime Minister who took a chopper from Kochi to Guruvayur came dressed in a mundu, traditional dress of Kerala. Outside the temple, a large crowd greeted the PM by chanting his name. At the temple he was weighed with lotus flowers. The temple has procured 112 kg lotus flowers from Nagarcoil in the neighbouring Tamil Nadu for this ritual.

Following the prayers he met temple officials who submitted a memorandum for its development. The Guruvayur temple is one of Kerala’s most famous temples.

Watch | PM Modi offers prayers at Guruvayur temple ahead of Maldives visit

There was a blend of tradition and technology in PM Modi’s temple visit. He had used digital payments method on Friday to pay Rs 39,421 for his pooja at the Guruvayur temple.

Modi’s visit came just over a week after he was sworn in as the Prime Minister of the country for the second consecutive term. He will leave for the Maldives later in the afternoon.

Ahead of his visit, Guruvayur had been turned into a fortress town with heavy security. Security has been tightened around the temple town in view of his visit.

The temple board said the PM’s office has requested it to avoid inconvenience to pilgrims during his trip But between 10 to 11 am there pilgrims won’t be allowed due to security.

Modi had visited the temple in 2008 soon after he became the Chief Minister of Gujarat for a second time.

“After the temple visit, he will address a meeting of party workers from the districts of Thrissur and Malappuram at Sree Krishna School grounds. This meeting, called the ‘Abinandan Sabha’, is the first one called by the prime minister after the thanks- giving trip to his constituency Varanasi,” said BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai. Though the party could not win a seat in the state, its vote share has gone up considerably in the 2019 elections, he added.

After making strong inroads in West Bengal and Odisha, the party has made it clear that Kerala ranks top on its list now. Devotees of the Sabarimala hill temple expect the PM to make some announcement to protect the temple customs. The Congress has made it clear that it will support any move to uphold age-old customs of the temple. The state had witnessed violent protests following the Left Front’ government’s steps to enforce a Supreme Court order allowing women of all ages to pray in the temple. The police action against devotees opposed to the entry of women was cited as the prime reason for the rout of Left parties in the Lok Sabah elections. Out of 20 Lok Sabha seats in the state, the Congress-led UDF had won 19 seats and the Left Front won only one.

First Published: Jun 08, 2019 08:45 IST