Ahmedabad, Jul 10 (PTI) Gujarat Home Minister Pradipsinh Jadeja and other senior BJP leaders in the state took part in the 'Netrotsav' ritual at Lord Jagannath Temple here on Saturday ahead of the 144th rath yatra, which will be held on July 12 with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocol.
The Gujarat government had on Thursday given its nod for the rath yatra, which will be taken out from the temple in the city's Jamalpur area, with restricted participation and strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols and guidelines.
State Home Minister Pradipsinh Jadeja, state BJP president C R Paatil and Speaker Rajendra Trivedi took part in the 'Netrotsav' ritual held at the temple.
'Netrotsav' is organised when Lord Jagannath, his brother Balram and sister Subhadra are symbolically treated for conjunctivitis by covering their eyes with cloth after their return from their maternal uncle's place. This is followed by ceremonies such as 'Dhwajarohan', when the temple flag is changed.
City Mayor Kirit Parmar and senior BJP representatives in the city civic body arrived at the temple for the ritual, and devotees also thronged the temple in large numbers for the occasion.
Before the commencement of the rath yatra on July 12, Union Home Minister Amit Shah will take part in the 'mangla aarti' at the temple.
In view of the pandemic, the state government has made it clear that except for three chariots and two other vehicles, no other vehicle, singing troupes, akhadas, elephants or decorated trucks have been allowed during the procession this year.
To stop people from gathering along the route to catch a glimpse of the deity, a curfew will be imposed on the entire yatra route from early morning till afternoon on July 12.
Last year, only a symbolic rath yatra was organised within the premises of the temple after the Gujarat High Court denied permission for the usual public procession amid the pandemic. PTI KA ARU ARU