With the seventh and the final phase of 2019 general elections coming to a close on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ended his 18-hours long meditation inside a cave at the Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath and is scheduled to visit Badrinath shrine, another temple in Uttarakhand’s ‘char dham’ religious circuit.
Ending his mediation in a holy cave near Kedarnath, the prime minister said, "I am fortunate that I have been getting the opportunity of visiting this holy land (Kedarnath) for several years. My mission of development here focuses on environment and tourism."
#LIVE – I thank media also. There is a lot of pressure on media during elections, mental and physical. People should know that in India also there are so many places to be visited like Kedarnath: PM @narendramodi briefs media after prayers at Kedarnath. | #ElectionsWithNews18 pic.twitter.com/7gpX8r5WZN
— News18 (@CNNnews18) May 19, 2019
On Saturday, Modi had trekked for 2 kilometres to the cave and allowed the media to take initial visuals before he began his meditation, which lasted till Sunday morning.
Upon reporters asking if the prime minister sought his win in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, Modi said, "I never ask for anything from God. I don't support the tendency of asking anything from God. He has made us to give, not to demand."
Urging Indians to visit Uttarakhand and Kedarnath, the prime minister said, "The development work I have initiated will improve tourism here. Masterplan in place for Kedarnath. Monitoring work here via videos. Instead of visiting Singapore and other foreign places, people should know that in India also there are so many places to be visited like Kedarnath."
"I thank media also. There is a lot of pressure on media during elections, mental and physical," said Modi after prayers at Kedarnath.
Dressed in a grey traditional pahari attire, on Saturday Modi had offered prayers for about 30 minutes and undertook a circumambulation of the Kedarnath shrine situated at a height of 11,755 feet near the Mandakini river.
The prime minister had then went inside a cave near the shrine. Draped in a saffron shawl, Modi was seen meditating at the holy cave.
Rudraprayag’s District Collector Mangesh Ghildiyal said devotees were not allowed to enter the temple’s premises when the prime minister was offering prayers.
Polling began on Sunday morning for 59 Lok Sabha seats in the seventh phase of Lok Sabha polls to decide the fate of 918 candidates including Modi, who is seeking to retain the Varanasi seat in Uttar Pradesh.
In Uttar Pradesh, all eyes are on Varanasi, where besides Modi, 25 other candidates are in the fray. Modi's main challengers are Congress's Ajay Rai and the SP-BSP grand alliance's nominee Shalini Yadav.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: May 19, 2019 09:35:58 IST