Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday thanked the Election Commission of India (ECI) for granting him permission to visit the Kedarnath shrine in Uttarakhand at a time when the model code of conduct is in force.
Modi, dressed in a grey Pahari attire, spent around 17 hours at a holy cave near the shrine. He offered prayers and performed puja at the temple. He told reporters he did not ask for anything while praying as it was not his nature. “God has given us capacity to give and not demand,” he said.
He said may the almighty bless not only India but also the whole humankind with happiness, prosperity and welfare.
“I am fortunate to visit the temple on multiple occasions,” he said while thanking the media for taking out time to visit Kedarnath at a time when the poll process is underway.
The media’s presence, he said, would send a message that the town had been developed well.
The Trinamool Congress approached the ECI saying that the PM violated the model code by visiting a Hindu shrine, ‘thereby trying to stoke religious sentiments.’
Photos of the PM sitting in meditation inside a cave went viral on social media. The PM is scheduled to visit Later in the day, he is expected to be in Badrinath, another temple in Uttarakhand’s ‘char dham’ religious circuit.
This is Modi’s fourth visit to the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in the past two years.
The portals of Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines reopened for devotees earlier this month after the winter break.
The EC gave its nod to the visit while ‘reminding’ the Prime Minister’s Office that the model code of conduct is still in force.
(With inputs from Agencies)