Narendra Modi in Shirdi updates: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was welcomed by Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and other state BJP members after landing at Shirdi airport. He is scheduled to participate in the Sai Baba Samadhi centenary celebrations.
Narendra Modi in LATEST updates: While addressing the gathering, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that alongside agriculture, the government is also working to promote tourism.
"In Maharashtra, there are many places associated with faith like Shirdi. There are also places like Ajanta-Alora where devotees from all over the world come to visit," he said. "I have been told that flights coming into Shirdi will be increased in frequency so that Sai devotees all over the globe can come to offer their prayers."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was welcomed by Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and other state BJP members after landing at Shirdi airport. He is scheduled to participate in the Sai Baba Samadhi centenary celebrations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Friday visit the temple town of Shirdi to attend the closing ceremonies of the year-long festival marking the centenary of samadhi of the Shirdi Sai Baba, officials said on Thursday. Modi will also hand over keys of houses to some beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Gramin (PMAY-G) and interact with them in the temple town, an official said Tuesday.
Modi will be present at the e-griha pravesh ceremony for 40,000 beneficiaries of the affordable housing scheme of the government, he said. Maharashtra Governor CV Rao and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will also attend the functions.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi offers prayers at Shirdi's Sai Baba temple. Twitter/@PIB_India
Modi will unveil a Saibaba Centennial Commemorative silver coin, perform 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, totally costing Rs 166 crore, a laser sound-and-light show and a 10-MW solar power project, costing Rs 39 crore, said SSST Chairman Suresh Haware.
Modi will reach by a special flight at the new Shirdi Airport and then proceed by helicopter to the Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust. He will perform a special pooja at the temple and unfurl a special flag.
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. In December 2017, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated a Global Sai Temple Conference and a series of big and small activities were carried out throughout the year.
Modi's visit marks the culmination of the festivities in which over 10 million devotees from India and abroad took part.
Meanwhile, Opposition leader in Maharashtra Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde on Tuesday claimed that the state government is spending Rs 2 crore to bring beneficiaries for the 19 October function.
The state government has allocated Rs 2 crore and given targets for its officers to identify and escort the beneficiaries to the event, Munde claimed. "None of the government schemes are reaching the target group. So now they've opted for false promotion of the schemes, with elections approaching," he alleged.
"In fact, PMAY-G is merely the old Indira Awas Yojana combined with a few other schemes and rechristened. Its implementation has been such that they are having to search for beneficiaries now. Also given the drought situation, why are government funds being spent on such propaganda?" he said.
Munde said the Rural Development Department, headed by his estranged cousin Pankaja Munde, was spending government money to arrange food and travel of those attending the event and for putting up banners on buses.