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Manmohan, Sonia, Rahul pay tribute to Indira, Patel



New Delhi: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday paid tribute to former prime minister Indira Gandhi on her death anniversary.

They paid tribute to Indira Gandhi at the Shakti Sthal memorial site dedicated to her.

The three Congress leaders also paid tribute to former union minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his birth anniversary.

“We pay tribute to Indira Gandhi today (Saturday). A leader with courage and compassion.She protected the poor and died for India,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

In his tweet, Rahul Gandhi said: “My tribute to Sardar Patel on his birth anniversary. One of the founding fathers of our nation,a patriot and a great congressman.”

“His (Patel) contribution to unifying India & guarding against fundamentalist forces will always inspire us,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi said Sardar Patel was truly India’s Iron Man. He believed in a strong, united India where every Indian is equal.

The Congress party on its official tweeter account stated: “We pay homage to Smt Indira Gandhi & Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel today (Saturday).

Indira Gandhi was assassinated on October 31, 1984 by her bodyguards a few months after the Indian Army took action in the Harmandir Sahib, popularly called Golden Temple, in Amritsar as part of a move to counter the insurgency in Punjab.

She held the office of prime minister from January 1966 to March 1977. She also became the prime minister from January 14, 1980 till her death on October 31, 1984.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, called as the “Iron Man of India”, was a political and social leader, who played a major role in the country’s struggle for independence and subsequently guided its integration into a united, independent nation.

Patel was born on October 31, 1875 in Gujarat’s Nadiad town. He died on December 15, 1950.


Jagannath Puri Rathayatra sans devotees in the time of corona virus.



The Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee (SJTMC) on Saturday recommended to the Odisha government to conduct the annual Rathayatra of Lord Jagannath in Puri sans devotees in view of the corona virus pandemic.

Rathyatra is scheduled to be held on June 23 in Puri.Keeping the SJTMC’s recommendation in mind, the Odisha government has asked the Indian Railways not to run trains to Puri.

The committee also recommended that the state government arrange live telecast of the annual festival so that lakhs of devotees across the globe can witness it on TV.

Deb said most of the events of the grand festival should be live telecast keeping in view their sentiments.

We have recommended holding the Rathayatra without the presence of devotees on the Grand Road in front of the 12th century temple in Puri. It is for the state government to take a final decision on conducting the Rathayatra, Deb told reporters after the meeting held through video conferencing.

The devotees, he said, should not congregate in Puri for Rathayatra keeping in mind the pandemic. If we allow devotees to participate in the festival this year like in the previous years, it will not be possible to maintain the social distancing norm which is essential to stop the spread of corona virus.

Deb said the SJTMC also suggested to the state government to keep the Grand Road on which the chariots of the dieties will roll on Rathayatra free from crowds. Even the residents of Puri town should not be present on that during the festival.

This is because it will not be practically possible to control the crowd if we open the doors of the temples.

Therefore, the SJTMC has decided to prohibit entry of devotees into the shrine at least till the completion of Rathayatra,” he said.

According religious scriptures and the puranas, the Lords bathing rituals (Snana Jatra), car festival (Rathayatra Jatra) and other rituals must be observed as per the tradition. The Rathayatra festival can be observed without the presence of devotees. But we will observe the rituals as they are being performed since ages, Deb said.

The Snana yatra rituals on June five will be conducted by a limited number of servitorss inside the premises of the temple in the absence of devotees, he said.

A senior official of East Coast Railway said Due to the advice received from the government of Odisha, it has been decided to terminate Puri-based trains at Bhubaneswar till further advice, a senior official at East Coast Railway said.

Accordingly, the Purushottam Express starting on June 1, 2020, will originate from Bhubaneswar instead of Puri.

Similar will be the case with Sealdah-Puri Duronto Express, the official said.

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