Arvind Kejriwal seeks Lord Ram's blessings on Diwali ahead of UP assembly polls
New Delhi, Nov 4: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal along with his wife Sunita Kejriwal and Cabinet ministers performed Diwali Puja at Thyagaraj Stadium from a stage modelled on the upcoming Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. A "state-of-the-art" magnificent 30-ft-high and 80-ft-wide symbolic replica of the Ram Mandir of Ayodhya was crafted especially at the Thyagraj Stadium for the "Dilli Ki Diwali" celebrations.
Wearing maroon red kurta with a golden stole, Kejriwal, flanked by his wife Sunita, who wore a light olive green 'sari' with a blend of yellow, led the Puja and performed rituals amid chanting of 'shlokas' by Acharya Shri Kant Shastri, the head priest of Jhandewalan Temple. "Chief Minister Kejriwal led the Diwali Puja along with his wife Sunita Kejriwal as they prayed for the peace and prosperity of Delhiites as well as the people of India," the government said in a statement released after the celebrations.
Entire Delhi government machinery that included Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Cabinet ministers Satyendar Jain, Rajendra Pal Gautam, Imran Hussain, Kailash Gahlot and Gopal Rai and Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel gathered at the majestic stage along with their wives to perform the Diwali Puja. The Diwali Puja began with a classical dance performance by noted classical dancer Geeta Chandran on Ganesh Vandana, which enthralled the audience. "Entire Ayodhya City has come to Delhi now. So now let's pray and welcome Lord Ram," priest Shastri said as he began the Puja.
After over 30-minute-long Diwali Puja was concluded, popular bhajan singer Anuradha Paudwal and her daughter Kavita Paudwal recited Mahalaxmi Aarti while Kejriwal and his wife performed the aarti. The celebrations also saw cultural programmes such as showcasing an animated film on Ramayan. A gigantic screen was set behind the Ram Mandir replica to showcase the film. Clad in traditional clothes, AAP MLAs and leaders including Atishi, Saurabh Bhardwaj, Raghav Chaddha, Rakhi Birla among others were also present in the Puja.
Asanas (special platforms to sit) were made in the stadium for the audience. Every Asana had a special "Puja Thaal" to perform rituals. "The 30-foot-high replica of the Ram Mandir and gorgeous depictions of the Ramayana were showstoppers of the event which the whole of Delhi joined via live broadcast," the government said in its statement. In recent times, the AAP convenor has made a number of mentions of Lord Ram in his addresses and activities with the latest being his visit to Ayodhya earlier this week. Kejriwal visited Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Ram, offered his prayers and took part in Saryu Aarti on the bank of river Saryu. The AAP is fighting the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
In this connection, several AAP leaders including Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia have visited the temple town of Ayodhya. Earlier this week, Kejriwal also announced to include Ayodhya in the Delhi government's pilgrimage sites. He said the Delhi government will take senior citizens on a pilgrimage to Ayodhya free of cost. "The divine ceremony was broadcast live on social media platforms, along with various TV channels so that people from Delhi and all over the country could come together to celebrate the legacy of Lord Shri Ram," the statement said. PTI AKM RAX RAX