Poll bugle reaches Pushkar Temple and Ajmer Dargah

Poll bugle reaches Pushkar Temple and Ajmer Dargah

A local artist entertains tourists with his moustache at Pushkar Camel Fair, in Pushkar, Rajasthan on Tuesday. PTI

As one walks down the jam-packed narrow lanes of Pushkar city, now lit up with coloured lights, one sees small flags of candidates from the BJP and Congress urging people to vote for them. They seem to call out: Assembly elections are around the corner.

As Pushkar has been abuzz with tourists and devotees ahead of the annual Kartik snaan and camel festival,  election tourism has also become one of the feathers in its colourful cap.

The city, which houses the only Brahma temple in the world, has also become a hub for elections. The candidates contesting from Pushkar and nearby places visit the revered temple to seek blessings.

"Leaders from BJP, Congress and even independent candidates are visiting the temple and seeking blessings. They even tell us to do puja for their victory in the polls. Being a priest of this temple I have been told to be neutral for all and pray for everyone," Laxminarayan Purohit, a priest at the Brahma temple told DH.

Interestingly, the Congress has fielded a Muslim female candidate, Naseem Akhtar Insaf, from the Pushkar Constituency seat, while the BJP has fielded its old candidate, Suresh Rawat.

Many in the city, which only has one Assembly seat, believes that the BJP has done most of the development work in its tenure but there is scope for more.

"We are happy with the BJP government. Most of the promises were fulfilled — right from constructing a rope-way to the hill temple or construction work inside the temple worth crores. But there is scope for more, the development of the city and a proper railway connection is yet to arrive", Nandu Lal, a shopkeeper said.

Similarly, Ajmer, which houses the shrine of sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisthi (Garib Nawaz) is also known to cater to religious tourism. Nowadays, the lanes leading to the dargah is abuzz with devotees and political leaders.

The roads leading to the shrine never sleep and are dotted with thousands of pilgrims on the occasion of Eid e mild ul Nabi, as well as the supporters of the candidates contesting the polls.

"Even before the lists were declared, politicians came to seek blessings here as they wanted their name to be declared. Now after their names have been declared, many candidates belonging to different faiths are visiting the shrine and praying for their success," Nasir Chisti, son of the Dargah Dewan of Ajmer Shrine told DH.

The Ajmer division becomes crucial for both the Congress and BJP after the latter lost in the Lok Sabha bypolls this year.

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