Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Anandi Patel on Saturday performed `Aarti` at the 400-year-old temple in Jamalpur area in the city on the eve of 137th annual Rath Yatra (procession) of Lord Jagannath and said the event should be utilised to give out social messages.
"The yatra of Lord Jagannath should also give out social messages to the large number of people who come to watch it. It should give message of save the girl child, curbing malnutrition and to fight against the evil of addictions," Patel said.
Patel, the fist woman Chief Minister of the state who took over the post from Narendra Modi this year, sought the deity`s blessings for development of the state and the country.
"This Rath Yatra will be seen across the country and the world....We wish that Gujarat and India achieve new heights of development with the blessings of Lord Jagannath," Patel said.
The Chief Minister also took a stock of preparations for the procession. At the temple, she sought blessings of Mahant Dilipdasji Maharaj, who will preside over the procession.
After performing Aarti, Patel informed media that the Rath Yatra will start at 7 am tomorrow.
"There was a time when Ahmedabad was known as the `Manchester` (of the East) due to the large number of textile firms here. People from many states came here to earn living, so many cultures mixed. The Rath Yatra tradition began in this period," the CM said.
Ministers Pradipsinh Jadeja, Rajnikant Patel and Shankar Chaudhari and Mayor Meenakshi Patel accompanied the Chief Minister during the Aarti.
Earlier in the day, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Shankarsinh Waghela and fellow Congress leaders Arjun Modhwadia and Siddharth Patel also visited the temple.