Shirdi (Maha): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday visited Maharashtra’s temple town of Shirdi to attend the closing ceremonies of a year-long festival marking the centenary of samadhi of the Shirdi Sai Baba.
Modi also handed over keys of houses to beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Gramin (PMAY-G) and interacted with them via video conference. Maharashtra governor CV Rao and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were also in attendance at the functions.
Modi was present at the e-grihapravesh ceremony for 40,000 beneficiaries of the affordable housing scheme of the government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday said Saibaba’s message of “shradha aur saburi” (faith and patience) has inspired humanity. Modi wrote this message in a visitor’s book after offering prayers to Saibaba at the world famous temple town Shirdi in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district.
“I felt immense peace after darshan of Saibaba. His message of faith and patience is one which inspires the entire humanity,” he said.
The prime minister said that in Shirdi, one gets to witness the spirit of equality of all religions and people from all faiths bow before Saibaba.
“In today’s global situations, Saibaba’s mantra ‘Sabka malik ek hai’ (one god governs all) is important for world peace.
“I bow before Saibaba’s feet with the wish that all devotees of Saibaba get his blessings and achieve happiness and peace,” Modi wrote in Hindi.
The prime minister unveiled a Saibaba Centennial Commemorative silver coin, performed the Bhoomi pooja of major projects like a new building, a mega educational complex costing around Rs 159 crore, a planetarium, a wax museum, a Sai Garden and theme park, worth Rs 166 crore in total, a laser sound-and-light show and a 10-MW solar power project worth Rs 39 crore, said Shri Saibaba Sansthan.
Modi’s visit to Maharashtra began on a controversial note. Pune Police early Friday morning detained activist Trupti Desai, who was on her way to ask for an audience with the prime minister and demand his intervention in the ongoing Sabarimala row.
Revered across communities, Sai Baba passed away in Shirdi village in Ahmednagar district on Dussehra Day in 1918. To mark the centenary of his death, the Trust had organised year-long celebrations which were inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind on 1 October 2017.
While addressing the hordes of BJP supporters and party workers present at the event, the prime minister alleged that the Congress is only keen on promoting the Gandhi family name. ” Previous governments were not serious about poverty alleviation; their sole objective was to promote a particular family,” he said.
He also criticised the Congress efforts towards the poor. Speaking about the success of the BJP’s PMAY-G scheme, Modi said: “The previous government in their last four years made 25 lakh houses. However, the BJP government has built 1 crore 25 lakh homes in the same amount of time.”