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PM Modi to visit Lord Dev Narayan temple in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara today

PM Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Malaseri in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara district today on the 1111th birth anniversary of Lord Dev Narayan.

PM Modi will attend an event to be held at Malaseri Dungri village, the birthplace of Lord Devnarayan, a revered deity of the Gujjar community.  He will offer prayers at the temple address a gathering and also plant a sapling.

“The Prime Minister has undertaken a number of projects for religious and cultural restoration like the Kashi Vishwanath temple and the Ujjain temple. Hopefully, something will be done for the Dev Narayan temple as well. We should not look at everything through a political lens,” Satish Poonia, BJP state president, told NDTV.

Though this visit has been organised by the culture ministry, it comes 10 months before the assembly election in Rajasthan.

The Gujjars constitute about 9 per cent to 12 per cent of the population in the state and have a significant influence in around 40 assembly constituencies in eastern Rajasthan.

The Gujjars have in the past launched violent protests for reservation in government jobs and educational institutions and had recently threatened to block Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s entry into the state.

In the last election, the BJP had given tickets to nine people from the Gujjar community but they lost as the Gujjar vote-bank shifted to the Congress as they were expecting Sachin Pilot to become the first Gujjar Chief Minister of the state. However, this did not happen and this time around political observers expect to see a change in the voting pattern.

“What happened last time will not happen again. Last time, the Gujjars lost and now they have learnt their lesson,” prominent Gujjar leader Vijay Bainsla told NDTV at the Dev Narayan temple.

Union Minister of State for Culture Arjun Ram Meghwal took stock of the preparations at the venue on Friday.

Bhilwara Collector Ashish Modi said all preparations have been completed for the prime minister’s visit. The Bhilwara SP said elaborate security arrangements will be in place for the visit.

Apart from Bhilwara, people from other districts such as Tonk, Sawai Madhopur, Rajsamand, Ajmer and Chittorgarh will attend the programme.