PM Narendra Modi offers prayers at Kedarnath shrine, plans to meditate in cave

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday offered prayers at Kedarnath, a day after campaigning for the general election came to a close.

PM Modi reached Jollygrant airport on Saturday morning from where he directly came here, officials said.

Dressed in a traditional pahari outfit, Modi offered prayers at the temple for around half-an-hour and undertook circumambulation of the shrine.

Modi will meditate and take stock of the ongoing development works in the temple town later in the day, official said.

The town was devastated in a series of cloudbursts in 2013. This is Modi’s fourth visit to the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in the last two years. He will offer prayers at Badrinath on Sunday.

The portals of both the shrines were reopened for devotees after the winter break early this month.

BJP Uttarakhand president Ajay Bhatt said this is “just a spiritual visit” and the people of the state are excited for it.

Stringent security arrangements have been made for the prime minister’s visit, DGP (law and order) Ashok Kumar said.

Earlier, the prime minister’s office had sought the views of the Election Commission on the two-day official visit of PM Modi to Uttarakhand.

As it is an official visit, the Election Commission has only “reminded” the PMO that the model code of conduct which came into force on March 10 with the declaration of Lok Sabha polls, is still in force, sources aware of the development said.

India will witness the final phase of Lok Sabha polls tomorrow, on May 19.
“The visit is official so it can be undertaken. But the office of the PM has been reminded that the poll code is still in force,” a source said without elaborating.
PM Modi will visit Badrinath on Sunday before returning to Delhi in the afternoon.

(with PTI inputs)

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Updated: May 18, 2019 — 8:37 am