Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend an event to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Devnarayan, a folk deity revered by the Gurjar community, in Bhilwara district in Rajasthan on Saturday.
The programme will be held at Malaseri Dungri village, the birthplace of Lord Devnarayan, who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The village is 60 km from Bhilwara. "Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the ceremony commemorating 1111th 'Avataran Mahotsav' of Bhagwan Shri Devnarayan Ji in Bhilwara, Rajasthan on 28th January at around 11.30 am,” according to a release from the Press Information Bureau.
Sources in the BJP, which is in opposition in Rajasthan, said the prime minister's visit was not political but it would give the party an advantage ahead of the assembly polls in the state. The Gurjar community has a significant influence on several assembly seats, particularly in eastern Rajasthan.
"The community is disappointed with the Congress as Sachin Pilot, who is a Gurjar, was not made the chief minister and its advantage would go to the BJP and the PM's rally would have a major impact," a BJP source said. Union Minister of State for Culture Arjun Ram Meghwal took stock of the preparations at the venue on Friday.
He said that Modi will offer prayers at the temple on the birth anniversary of Lord Devnarayan, address a gathering and also plant a sapling. Bhilwara Collector Ashish Modi said all preparations have been completed for the prime minister's visit. The Bhilwara SP said elaborate security arrangements will be in place for the visit.
Apart from Bhilwara, people from other districts such as Tonk, Sawai Madhopur, Rajsamand, Ajmer and Chittorgarh will attend the programme. PM Modi earlier visited Mangadh Dham, a holy place for tribal people, in Banswara district in November.