Dehradun: The decision of the Uttarakhand government to resume prayers at the calamity hit Kedarnath shrine from Wednesday has drawn criticism from opposition BJP and a Congress MP.
Veteran congress leader and the MP from Pauri Garwal, Satpal Maharaj, said that today was not an auspicious day to resume puja at Kedarnath shrine.
"The Puja should have started from October 5, on the eve of Shardiya Navratra", Maharaj said, adding he already had informed the Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna regarding this.
The congress MP claimed that according to priests, no deity-worship takes place after Raksha Bandhan and before Navrata.
While CM Bahuguna said, "Everyday is auspicious for the prayers and moreover temple committee had fixed the date."
Former union minister and BJP leader, Swami Chinmayanand also protested the resumption of prayers today.
"There is no rationale behind resuming the prayers in `Chaturmas` (four-months)," he said.
Former Uttarakhand chief minister Ramesh Pokhariyal also criticised the move of not allowing other priests to visit the shrine.
The government had issued special passes for people attending today`s prayers and only such persons were allowed to visit the shrine by air-route.
Defying the restrictions Pokhariyal along with other priests attempted to take the land-route to the shrine but the Rudraprayag administration detained them before Gaurikund.
In order to stop the non pass-holders from proceeding to the shrine area, administration had put up restrictions in Fata, Guptkashi and Gaurikund.
The locals have been protesting against this move of the government.
Rudraprayag DM Dilip Javalkar said that a meeting of other priests will be convened on 13 September to decide if they could be allowed to visit the Kedarnath on rotational basis.