Rajasthan: PM Modi to attend Lord Devnarayan's birth anniversary celebrations
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Rajasthan's Bhilwara district on Saturday to attend the 1,111th birth anniversary celebrations of the local deity Lord Devnarayan, who is worshiped by the Gujjar community across the nation. Besides PM Modi, Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra has also been invited to the event in Bhilwara's Malaseri Dungri village, which is being organized by the Union Culture Ministry.
Why does this story matter?
- This visit by PM Modi comes just a few months ahead of Assembly polls in Rajasthan later this year.
- However, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders have reportedly played down reports of the visit being political.
- Though the party claimed that Modi's visit to Malaseri Dungri was not political, it is likely to give the saffron brigade an edge in the upcoming elections in Rajasthan.
Modi to offer prayers at famous Devnarayan Dungri Temple
BJP National General Secretary and Rajasthan in-charge, Arun Singh, stated preparations in Malaseri Dungri were in full swing to welcome Modi. "The religious visit of the prime minister on the 1111th program of Lord Devnarayan will be grand, divine, and historic," Singh said. Modi will offer prayers at the famous Devnarayan Dungri Temple in Bhilwara's Asind sub-division and later address a gathering, reported PTI.
Modi's third Rajasthan visit ahead of state elections
Notably, this will mark the prime minister's third visit to Rajasthan in four months. In November last year, PM Modi visited the Mangadh Dham in the state's Banswara district to pay tributes to tribal leader Govind Guru. Earlier in October, he also paid a visit to the Sirohi district to address a public meeting.
Significance of Gujjars in upcoming Rajasthan polls
As per local beliefs, Lord Devnarayan, revered by Gujjars, is Lord Vishnu's incarnation and was born in the 10th century in Malaseri Dungri. Interestingly, the Gujjar community significantly influences several Assembly seats, especially in Rajasthan's eastern districts. Besides people from Bhilwara, hundreds from neighboring districts like Ajmer, Sawai Madhopur, Chittorgarh, Tonk, and Rajsamand are expected to attend the celebrations and Modi's meeting on Saturday.
BJP looking to take advantage of Gehlot-Pilot tussle
Meanwhile, the tussle for power between Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Sachin Pilot reportedly has not gone down well with the Gujjars. So, the BJP is eyeing to take advantage of this resentment within the Gujjar community against the grand old party. Moreover, Congress spokesperson Swarnim Chaturvedi claimed that PM Modi's visit is a political one, focusing on social engineering.
BJP is afraid, claims Chaturvedi
Earlier, Chaturvedi said, "None of the BJP's MLA candidates from the Gurjar community won (in the previous elections)." "And now looking at the welfare work done by the Congress government in Rajasthan for all communities, especially Gujjars, such as giving MBC [most backward classes] reservation, the BJP is afraid and aware that the current government will return to power," the Congress spokesperson added.