PM Modi visits Rajasthan to mark 1,111th birth anniversary of Gujjar deity Devnarayan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit to the village of Malaseri in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara district on Saturday to attend a celebration honouring the 1,111th birth anniversary of the local deity Devnarayan, who is worshipped by the Gujjar population nationwide
According to a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, the Union culture ministry has also invited Rajasthan governor Kalraj Mishra in addition to the Prime Minister to the event.
“The religious visit of the Prime Minister on the 1111th programme of Lord Devnarayan will be grand, divine and historic,” said Singh.
In the past four months, Prime Minister Modi has made three visits to Rajasthan, and this visit is noteworthy because the state will hold assembly elections later this year. Modi paid respects to tribal chief Govind Guru in November 2022 by travelling to Mangadh Dham in the Banswara district. He went to the Sirohi district for a public gathering in October.
Devnarayan was born in Malaseri in the tenth century and is thought to be an avatar of Lord Vishnu.
While the party has maintained it is a “religious” visit by the PM, the BJP is eyeing political mileage from Modi’s presence at the event, local leaders said.
The establishment of a Devnarayan corridor in the Asind subdivision, along the lines of Kashi, Ayodhya, and Ujjain, is anticipated to be announced by the PM. Teams from the Centre conducting research and surveys have already visited the area and are examining any historical or literary evidence or religious texts related to Devnarayan.

Gujjars are also widely distributed throughout Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir in addition to Rajasthan.
MLAs and MPs from the region have been working to make the visit a success. BJP workers are going door-to-door in several districts to invite Gujjars and other communities for the PM’s meeting,” said the BJP state incharge. “People from all communities will attend the programme to offer prayers to Lord Devnarayan and to listen to the prime minister. There is a lot of enthusiasm among the people.”
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, PM Modi will likely arrive in Malaseri village on Saturday at 11.30 am and stay there for about 90 minutes. Nearly 250,000 people are anticipated to attend the event.

Gujjars control at least 40 of the 200 assembly seats in the state, with a major presence in 15 districts of eastern Rajasthan. The BJP ran nine Gujjar candidates in the 2018 assembly elections, all of whom were defeated. All eight of the Gujjar candidates that the Congress put up won, giving the impression that the community voted virtually unanimously in favour of the Congress. The key motivation for the support for the Congress was the expectation that Sachin Pilot, a Gujjar, would be appointed chief minister.
The Gujjars, however, are not pleased with the power struggle between the chief minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Pilot. The BJP wants to take advantage of the community’s animosity toward the Congress.
Congress spokesperson Swarnim Chaturvedi said Modi’s visit is a political one, eyeing social engineering. “None of the BJP’s MLA candidates from the Gurjar community won. And now looking at the welfare work done by the Congress government in Rajasthan for all communities, especially Gujjars, such as giving MBC reservation, the BJP is afraid and aware that the current government will return to power.”

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