Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, along with his wife, performed “Maha Pooja” of Lord Vitthal and Goddess Rukmini at the world-famous temple at Pandharpur on Thursday morning on the occasion of “Ashadhi Ekadashi” and sought blessing from God for prosperity for every section of society.
As per old tradition, a couple of Ahmednagar district residents, Bhausaheb Mohiniraj Kale and Mangal Bhausaheb Kale, got an honour to perform Mahapuja of Vitthal-Rukmini along with the Shinde family.
Revenue Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Health Minister Dr. Tanaji Sawant, Rural Development and Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan, Ports and Mines Minister Dadaji Bhuse, School Education Minister Deepak Kesarkar, Temple Committee Co-President Gahininath Maharaj Ausekar, and others were present.
Shinde said lakhs of devotees who walked thousands of kilometers for this journey barefoot have come to see Panduranga (God) and prayed for their good health and prosperity.
He also said his government has given top priority to the health of warkari by organising many medical camps throughout the roads leading to this place.
Providing good health services to devotees from these camps is equal to Vitthal Puja, the CM said.
As per the instructions given by the government, the administration has made good planning and provided convenience facilities to the people here, he said.
Speaking to warkari (devotees), Shinde said the state government has given relief to the common man by taking many decisions for public welfare during this one-year period.
He said we have allotted Rs 108 crore for Pandharpur municipal council works and Rs 109 crore has been approved for the city water supply scheme.
A fund of 73 crores has been made available for the temple campus development plan, disclosed Chief Minister.
He said the Pandharpur city development plan will be prepared with the trust of all. Expressing happiness, Shinde said it is his fortune that he is getting the honour of the government Mahapuja of Ashadhi Ekadashi for two consecutive years.
MP Shrikant Shinde and Pratap Jadhav, MLA Sadhan Awatade, Bharat Gogawle, Mangesh Chavan, Babanrao Pachpute, District Collector Milind Sunderkar, Special Inspector General of Police Kolhapur Zone Sunil Phulari, Zilla Parishad Chief Executive Officer Dilip Swamy, and Superintendent of Police Shirish Sardeshpande were present.
Chief Minister said that Many Dindi ( troupes) who participate in Wari are doing social awareness work. With the aim of increasing the participation of the citizens in the ‘Nirmal Vari Harit Vari’ ( Green environment campaign).
‘Shri Vitthal Nirmal Dindi’ awards were given to Dindi on this occasion by the Chief Minister.
The first Prize of Rs one lakh was given to Tarakeshwar Gad Dindi while second prize of 75 thousand was awarded to Pune based Nandedkar Dindi. The third prize of 50 thousand was given to Eknath Maharaj Warkari Educational Institution of Aurangabad district.