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Narendra Modi In Varanasi News LIVE Updates: PM Inspects Rly Station, Other Projects in Late-Night Tour With Yogi; to Meet BJP CMs Today

states — Gujarat, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Manipur, Tripura, and Uttarakhand — at 9 am. Nine Deputy Chief Ministers from BJP-ruled states are also expected to attend to discuss a variety of issues. This crucial meeting will last until 2.45 p.m. in some states, ahead of the 2022 assembly elections.

The first phase of the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor, which connects the holy city’s two iconic landmarks — Kashi Vishwanath temple and Ganga ghats — was inaugurated on Monday by PM Modi. Later, while on a cruise ship, he attended the spectacular Ganga ‘aarti.’ Among those who accompanied Modi on the MV Vivekananda cruise were BJP President JP Nadda, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

The Prime Minister will leave for the Umrah area of the city at 3.20 p.m. to attend an hour-long public gathering. PM Modi will attend the Sadguru Sadafaldeo Vihangam Yog Sansthan’s 98th anniversary celebrations at the Swarved temple in Umrah at 4.35 p.m. He could also go to the Swarved Mahamandir Dham, a large Vihangam Yoga and meditation centre in Varanasi.

The prime minister will the reach airport at 5.05 pm to depart for Delhi.

Lauding the resilience of India’s civilisational heritage here, Modi on Monday had said tyrants like Aurangzeb tried to destroy Kashi but were consigned to the black pages of history while the ancient city is now writing a new chapter of its glory. In a speech after inaugurating the Kashi Vishwanath Dham, which has renovated and expanded the temple’s premises, Modi said India is now stepping out of the “inferiority” complex brought on it by centuries of slavery.

He asserted that the new Kashi corridor will give a decisive direction to the country and lead it to a bright future. Arriving in the holy city, also his parliamentary constituency, Modi paid obeisance at the Kaal Bhairav Temple and then took a dip in the Ganga, from where he collected holy water for worship at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. In the evening, hours after the inauguration, he watched a spectacular Ganga aarti on the ghats, from a cruise boat that also carried chief ministers of BJP-run state. Fireworks lit the sky.

A new history is being created, he said in the speech that mentioned Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, Muslim invader Salar Masud and British governor-general Warren Hastings. Sultanates rose and fell but Benaras remained, he said. “Tyrants attacked this city, tried to destroy it. History is witness to Aurangzeb’s atrocities, his terror. He tried to change civilisation with the sword. He tried to crush culture with fanaticism.

“‘But the soil of this country is different from the rest of the world. Here if an Aurangzeb comes, a Shivaji also rises,” Modi said. The PM raised the chant of ‘Har Har Mahadev’, associated with Lord Shiva, several times. “If a Salar Masud marches on, warriors like Raja Suheldev make him realise the power of our unity,” he said. People of Varanasi forced Hastings to escape on an elephant’s back, he added.

“See how the times change. Today, those synonymous with terror have been consigned to the black pages of history while my Kashi marches ahead and is writing a new chapter of its glory,” the prime minister said. Whenever the city has taken a turn, the country’s fate has also changed, he added. Many historians believe that Aurangzeb had ordered pulling down the temple to build a mosque. Modi also lauded Rani Ahilyabai Holkar for rebuilding the temple and Sikh king Ranjit Singh for gold-plating its domes. He said the new complex of the Kashi Vishwanath Dham is not just a grand building, but a symbol of the “Sanatan culture” of India, its spiritual soul antiquity and traditions.

Modi expressed his gratitude to workers involved in the construction project, saying they did not let even the Covid pandemic stop them. In an interaction, he showered a group of them with flower petals.

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