Stopover is expected to amplify Adityanath image as a leader ahead of Assembly poll
The Indian Embassy in Nepal will organise a week-long bike rally from the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu to the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi from November 11.
The people-to-people initiative comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba in Glasgow on the sidelines of the COP26 summit. The rally will include a stopover at the Gorakhnath Math, a religious institution headed by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath.
The Ministry of External Affairs said the rally will be flagged off by Minister of Culture of Nepal Prem Bahadur Ale from the premises of the Pashupatinath temple on the morning of November 11 after religious rituals which will be performed in the presence of Ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra. The “Pashupatinath-Kashi Vishwanath Amrit Mahotsav Motorcycle Rally” between the two of the most important religious shrines of South Asia will draw participation from at least 50 bikers and is aimed at strengthening the connect, said the MEA.
The rally will visit Motihari associated with Mahatma Gandhi-led Champaran Satyagraha of 1917, Sarnath, the place of the first sermon of Lord Buddha and the Gorakhnath Math in Gorakhpur. The stopover at the Math of poll-bound U.P. is significant as Mr. Adityanath is the chief pontiff of the religious establishment and is known to have following also in Nepal.
Mr. Deuba had sent former Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat as his emissary to India in October. He met Mr. Adityanath in Lucknow where both sides had discussed plans to strengthen people-to-people ties. It is understood that Mr. Adityanath’s following in Nepal is expected to amplify his image as a leader ahead of the crucial poll in Uttar Pradesh.
The rally is also likely to revive Nepal’s identity as the home to some of the oldest Hindu shrines in the world. “The rally is part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav — an initiative of the Government of India — to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of progressive India and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements,” said the MEA.
The rally will end on November 16 with a special worship at the Kashi Vishwanath temple.