In Goa, AAP chief Arvind Kerjriwal promises free trips to Ayodhya, Ajmer

By Express News Service

MUMBAI:  Ahead of Goa state assembly elections, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday made a fresh pre-poll promise in Goa, assuring free state-sponsored pilgrimages to the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Ajmer Sharif and Velankanni for Hindus, Muslims and Christians in the state respectively.

Kejriwal said that people returned with “good vibrations” from a pilgrimage and added that the scheme, which was originally implemented by the Aam Admi Party government in Delhi, would be replicated in Goa if the party came to power after the 2022 state assembly polls.

“When our government is formed, we will be facilitating  free pilgrimage to Ayodhya and helping them get a darshan of Shri Ram. Christians will be getting free pilgrimages to Velankanni. Muslims will be getting to go on pilgrimage to Ajmer Sharif,” said Kejriwal.  

He added: “I am told that many people in Goa believe in Shirdi. We will offer them pilgrimage to Shirdi to have a darshan of Lord Sai Baba.”  Kejriwal claimed that 35,000 people had benefited from the scheme since it had been introduced by the Delhi government some years back.

“I went to Ayodhya recently. I went to the Ram Mandir, took darshan of Ram Lalla. I felt very blessed. I stepped out and a thought struck me that the satisfaction which I felt after getting a glimpse of the Lord Ram is something everyone should experience,” Kejriwal said.

He added: “Today, I’ve announced the scheme. After the scheme is implemented when we come to power, we will add more destinations. Everyone wants to go on a pilgrimage. They come back with good vibrations. It will be good for Goa. There will be peace.”

Earlier West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee was in Goa for her three days. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was also in Goa recently. Goa Congress president Girish Chondakar said that the people of Goa were different from other states. “They will not be enticed by such promises. People will vote for development and Congress only. Last time also, AAP tried but could not even get a single seat. This time also, they will get zero in Goa state assembly,” he said.