President offers prayers at Sai Baba temple

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Shirdi (Maharashtra), Nov 27: President Pratibha Devisingh Patil today visited the famed Sai Baba temple here and prayed for peace and happiness in the country.

The President, accompanied by her husband Devisingh Shekhawat, arrived here this morning and was received by Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Maharashtra ministers Dilip Walse-Patil, Balasaheb Thorat, Patangrao Kadam and Babanrao Pachpute.

The President immediately left for the Sai Baba temple. Upon her arrival at the temple, she was felicitated and presented with a silver statuette of Sai Baba and a gold coin.

The President offered ''pooja'' at the temple and inaugurated a ''prasadalaya'' which has been built at a cost of Rs 24 crore.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said she had prayed for peace and happiness in the country.

Sai Baba, she said, had served the poor and the sick. The saint had endeavoured to spread national unity, and his ideology needed to be propagated, the President said. If Sai Baba's message is reached to every corner of the society, there will be peace and harmony, she emphasised.

Earlier, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, while heaping praises upon the President, said she had done Maharashtra proud and symbolised ''women's power''.

Meanwhile, in view of the President's visit, the temple premises and the surrounding areas had been sealed and tight security was in place.


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