GUWAHATI, June 27 - Health and Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday visited the Kamakhya temple and offered prayers outside the main temple with his wife and children � a move that was questioned by many, as the temple gates are completely shut for visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As daily puja has started in the shrine after culmination of Ambubachi, the minister performed pradakshina outside the main temple and took stock of the situation in the area post Ambubachi.
In a Twitter message, Sarma stated that like every year, this year too, he visited the temple after Ambubachi, but offered prayers outside the temple as the main doors were shut in view of the COVID-19 situation. The minister stated that he sought blessings of the Mother Goddess for world peace.
On people questioning the special privilege given to the minister in a religious place like Kamakhya, the temple management stated that there was nothing controversial in the visit because the minister did not go inside the temple.
�As our public representative, he regularly takes stock of the situation of people of Kamakhya area. Today also, he paid his obeisance outside the temple with his family members and left,� temple head priest Mohit Sarma told The Assam Tribune.
Every year, lakhs of pilgrims from across the country and even abroad visit the temple atop Nilachal hill during the Ambubachi festival. Lakhs of devotees also make serpentine queues when the temple gates are opened after the four-day festival. This year, however, the festival was called off in view of the pandemic. Even as some temples were opened for devotees in the second week of June, the Kamakhya temple management decided to keep the doors closed to contain the spread of the virus.