Rajasthan’s Muslim minister performs puja at Shiva temple in Pokhran

Saleh Mohammed, son of Muslim religious leader Gazi Fakir, reached Pokhran for the first time after taking oath as a minister in Rajasthan’s Ashok Gehlot cabinet.

Minister in the Rajasthan’s Gehlot government, Saleh Mohammed on Sunday performed a special puja at Shiva temple in Pokhran in Jaisalmer district.

Mohammed, son of Muslim religious leader Gazi Fakir, reached Pokhran for the first time after taking oath as a minister in the Gehlot Cabinet. The sudden move of the minister surprised people in the area.

Madhu Changani, priest of the Shiv Temple, confirmed the report. Changani told HT that it was not for the first time Mohammad had visited the temple. “He (Mohammad) had visited this temple during the election time also,” he said, adding that Mohammad has “some association” with the temple.

Changani said that after reaching the temple Mohammad performed “special puja” for about half-an-hour following “Hindu rituals”. He (Mohammad) also performed ablution and offered honey and milk on Lord Shiva’s idol.

Later talking to reporters, Saleh Mohammad said that western Rajasthan is best example of communal harmony. “Hindus and Muslims both have strong faith in Baba Ramdevji (a temple in Ramdevra of local deity Baba Ramdev),” he said, adding that he visited the temple due to “personal belief”.

It may be recalled that Pokhran had become a hot seat during the recent assembly elections with political parties trying to polarise the elections. The Congress had fielded Mohammed, son of Muslim religious leader Gazi Fakir, who has large following in western Rajasthan, while the BJP had banked on Hindu spiritual leader Swami Pratappuri, who is the head of Taratara ‘math’ in Barmer district.

Source: Hindustan Times

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