Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Gujarat tomorrow to pay tribute to Swaminarayan sect's spiritual head Pramukh Swami, whose mortal remains have been kept at a temple in Sarangpur near here. Ministers, politicians and devotees today made a beeline to the Sarangpur-based Swaminarayan temple, where they paid their respect to the 95-year-old saint.
The mortal remains of the head of Bochasanvasi Akshar Purushottam Sansthan (BAPS) Swaminarayan Sanstha have been kept at the temple till August 17 to enable devotees and citizens to have a final glimpse of the departed soul. Modi is scheduled to arrive in Sarangpur, located in adjoining Botad district, in afternoon, said Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat Nitin Patel, who along with Chief Minister Vijay Rupani paid their tributes today. "Our Prime Minister was very close to Pramukh Swami. Modi will arrive in afternoon to pay tribute to the departed soul," said Patel. Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party has announced party's national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal would also visit the temple on August 16. Modi has expressed grief through his tweets over Swami's death. Modi also shared a photo where he is seen taking blessings from the spiritual leader. Swami, who was ailing for some time, passed away last evening at the Sarangpur temple, where he was undergoing medical treatment. Thousands of devotees from all over Gujarat as well as other parts of the country are thronging the temple to pay homage to the saint. Besides Rupani and Patel, Gujarat Revenue Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama along with newly-inducted Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya paid floral tributes to Swami. Former Finance Minister Saurabh Patel and Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly Shankersinh Vaghela of Congress were also among those who paid their respects to the popular religious leader, who enjoyed a wide following. As the flow of devotees is expected to increase in days to come, elaborate arrangements have been made, said Rupani. "To supervise the arrangements in the wake of huge rush of devotees, we have deployed a senior IAS officer and five IPS officers. We have also instructed District Collector and local police to ensure people do not face any problem during their visit," said Rupani.