Amit Shah offers prayers at Jagannath temple in Puri
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday visited the seaside pilgrim town of Puri and offered prayers at the Shri Jagannath Temple.
Shah, on a two-day visit to Odisha, visited the 12th-century shrine on the second day of his tour amidst tight security and sought blessings from the trinity - Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath.
Accompanied by Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Pratap Sarangi and Prahlad Singh Patel and BJP's national vice president Baijayant Panda, the home minister reached the temple in the morning.
BJP's Odisha in-charge Arun Singh, national spokesperson Sambit Patra and party's state unit president Samir Mohanty were also present as Shah was welcomed near the lion's gate of the shrine.
During his 30-minute stay in the temple premises, Shah had darshan near the sanctum sanctorum and lighted lamp (deep) while paying obeisance to the presiding deities, said the temple priests.
Besides offering prayer inside the main shrine, the home minister also went around the premises and visited the temples of Devi Vimla and Mahalaxmi, said Shah's family priest Raghunath Gochhikar.
Though Shah has visited Shri Jagannath Temple several times, this was his first visit to the shrine after becoming a central minister, he said.
Shah was welcomed by Puri district collector Balwant Singh, officials of the temple administration and local leaders.
Later, the home minister visited Lingaraj temple of Lord Shiva in the state capital.
Shah was accompanied by the three Union ministers, BJP MP from Bhubaneswar, Aparajita Sarangi, and party's state president during his visit to the Lingaraj temple.
The home minister spent around 20 minutes in the temple premises and offered a special puja.
”Amit ji had a good darshan of Lord Lingaraj,” the Bhubaneswar MP said.
On Friday, Shah chaired a meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council here, which was attended by chief ministers of Odisha, West Bengal and Bihar.
After the meet, he addressed a rally on CAA, organised by the BJP, at Janata Maidan here.