Modi visits Akshardham temple

Modi visits Akshardham temple

In politics, many a time what is left unsaid speaks the loudest.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who on Thursday made a brief visit to Gandhinagar in his poll-bound homestate of Gujarat and attended the silver jubilee of the Akshardham temple, appeared to live the adage.

Modi arrived in Ahmedabad around 5 pm, drove to the Raj Bhavan in Gandhinagar and after a brief halt, reached the temple.

He participated in the temple celebrations and returned to Delhi late in the evening.

A brief visit by his standards, but it was his 20th to the state since he took over as the prime minister, and it was for a religious function of a sect where perhaps almost 80% of its followers are Patels.

Modi also held out his hand to help the elderly head of the sect to climb the stairs and lead him into the temple.

With the mahant

"I have nothing to fear as mahant Swami has held my hand now," he told the large audience, which comprised of followers of the Swaminarayan sect.

With the Patels taking on the ruling BJP, the prime minister, who was required to maintain the decorum of the poll code of conduct, said he needed to share his experiences with all.

He also went on to recall several encounters he had with one the most revered saint from the sect, Pramukhswami Maharaj, who died a couple of years ago at age of 95.

Remembering him as his father figure, the prime minister said that Pramukh Swami was always worried about him.

"In 1993 Pramukh Swami Maharaj called atleast six times to enquire about my safety as I was part of a yatra led by Murli Manohar Joshi to unfurl the tricolour on Republic Day at Lal Chawk in Srinagar, Kashmir," Modi said.

He went on to say that Pramukh Swami used to even listen to his political speeches and advice him on what to speak and not to speak in public.

Modi said after the Ramkrishna Mission, the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha under Pramukh Swami was perhaps the second largest religious institution in the country, with its strength of 1,100 sadhus and saints always ready to take up humanitarian causes and rush to provide aid to people in distress, be it natural or man-made calamities.

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