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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

In Goa push, Kejriwal announces ‘guarantee’ of free pilgrimage

Kejriwal announced free pilgrimage tours of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, Velankanni Church in Tamil Nadu, Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan and Shirdi in Maharashtra.

Written by MAYURA JANWALKAR | Panaji |
Updated: November 2, 2021 9:17:48 am
delhi news, delhi news today, lakhimpur, arvind kejriwalHe said that people will be able to choose their preferred place of pilgrimage from among the four destinations and the government will make free travel and stay arrangements. (File Photo)

After his ‘guarantees’ of free electricity upto 300 units and jobs for everyone in Goa, AAP national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced free pilgrimages for people from the state depending on their faiths, if AAP is voted to power in the Assembly polls scheduled for 2022.

Speaking at a press conference in Panaji, Kejriwal announced free pilgrimage tours of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, Velankanni Church in Tamil Nadu, Ajmer Sherif in Rajasthan and Shirdi in Maharashtra.

“I recently went to Ayodhya. I went to the temple and saw Ram Lalla. After coming out, I thought that everyone should have the good fortune I had. I decided I will take as many people as I can to Ayodhya and give them the opportunity to see Lord Shri Ram. Today, I want to announce in Goa that if our government is formed here, then we will make the facility for the people of Goa to visit Ayodhya for free. We will give free travel to Velankanni to our Christian brothers and sisters. Our Muslim brothers and sisters, we will take to Ajmer Sharif. There are many such people in Goa, who have faith in Shirdi, we will take them to Shirdi,” he announced.

He said that people will be able to choose their preferred place of pilgrimage from among the four destinations and the government will make free travel and stay arrangements. More destinations will be added to the list, he said, based on the preferences of the people. “We take them by AC train and put them up at an AC hotel. Undertaking pilgrimage is a very pious act,” Kejriwal said.

Stating that AAP had prepared plans for various sectors in the state including health, mining, education, roads, tourism and women’s programmes, Kejriwal said all other parties in the contest were only after power. “No party has any interest in any issue of Goa. They are all only after power. Congress, BJP, TMC, GFP or whatever parties are there in Goa, have you heard anyone talking on the issues of Goa? Heard a party saying that we will provide employment, we will fix electricity, we will fix water or roads?,” he said.

On her visit to Goa last week, Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said, “In Delhi, they (AAP) won because of Anna Hazare, you have to appreciate that…It is not that every time only one political party will emerge. Have I stopped them from going to Punjab? Why would they stop us from coming to Goa?”

Asked to respond to her comment at Monday’s press conference, Kejriwal said, “Did Mamata Didi say something like this about me? I don’t believe she did.”

He said the Congress and BJP in Goa were hand-in-glove. “The Chief Minister (Pramod Sawant) says they will form the government and Congress will be Opposition? Have you ever thought why no Congress leader went to jail for corruption during last ten years of BJP rule in the state? They protect each other. We will not spare anyone. We will recover every single rupee looted from the Goan people and send the culprits to jail,” said Kejriwal.

On a question regarding alliances between AAP and other parties, Kejriwal said he would speak about them “at the appropriate time”.

He said that the statement made by Meghalaya Governor Satyapal Malik, former Goa Governor, during an television interview that there was corruption in everything in Goa, was “serious”. He, however, said that the Centre was “shielding” Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and with that, condoning corruption.

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