Rajasthan minister for minority affairs and Waqf Saleh Mohammed on Wednesday performed a special puja at a Shiva temple in Pokhran in Jaisalmer district on Sunday.
The minister performed puja for about half-an-hour as per Hindu rituals. He also performed ablution and offered honey and milk on Lord Shiva's idol, Changani added.
The son of a Muslim religious leader Gazi Fakir, Saleh surprised people in the area when he reached Pokhran for the first time after taking oath as a minister in the state cabinet led by CM Ashok Gehlot.
Madhu Changani, the priest of the temple, said Mohammad has a long association with the shrine and it was not the first time he performed a puja. "He had visited this temple during state assembly election as well. It was not the first time he visited the temple. He has some association with the temple," he said.
While talking to reporters, Saleh said that western Rajasthan is a positive foreground for communal harmony.
“Gods and goddesses don't belong to any caste. It is not about Hindus and Muslims. Everyone has his faith. We have Ganga-Jamuni brotherhood which is in itself an example. Hindus and Muslims both have strong faith in Baba Ramdevji (a temple in Ramdevra of local deity Baba Ramdev),” he said, adding that it is a ‘personal belief’ which brings him to the temple.
Pokhran had become a hot seat during the recent assembly elections with Saleh fighting for the seat against his BJP counterpart and spiritual leader Swami Pratappuri, who is the head of Taratara ‘math’ in Barmer district.
(With PTI inputs)