Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sent an offering of green gram, blackberries and mangoes to the Jagannath Temple, ahead of the 138th Rath Yatra on Saturday, 18 July. Green gram and blackberries are traditionally offered as 'prasad' to Lord Jagannath on the occasion of the yatra. The PM also sent a letter to the temple, offering his best wishes for the event.
"PM Modi is like a member of this temple"
Speaking to PTI, Jagannath Temple trustee Mahendra Jha said that Narendra Modi has, over the years, regularly followed the ritual of sending offerings to the temple, even when being unable to attend the Rath Yatra in person. "Our PM Modi is like a member of this temple, since he spent time in the temple during his early life. That is why, he is well aware of various traditions of this temple. Even when he was a 'nobody', he never missed an opportunity to offer prasad to Lord Jagannath during the Rath Yatra," he said.
Letter to the temple
With the PM not in a position to attend the Rath Yatra, he has sent a letter to the chief priest and trustee of the temple, wishing them the best for the event. "After becoming PM, he could not come to attend the Rath Yatra. Last year, he sent his wishes through a letter addressed to me and Dilipdasjee Maharaj (the chief priest). This time too, we recieved his letter, in which, he offered his greetings on the auspicious occasion," Jha added.