President to visit to Tirupati, Sabarmati Ashram
New Delhi: After becoming President, Ramnath Kovind will now undertake a sort of pilgrimage to the holy city of Tirupati and Sabarmati Ashram of Gujarat. This will be his second domestic visit. First, he went to Leh to confer Presidential colour to the Scouts and Guide of Ladakh division.
The President will visit Tirupati on September 1 and 2 and pay his respects to the Lord. According to sources in the President secretariat, the President will also attend a few functions in Tirupati. He will spend a night there. It is not clear whether he will stay in a Government accommodation there or return to Hyderabad and stay at Rajbhavan.
On second evening, the President will come back to Delhi and next day he will travel to Ahmedabad to visit Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram.
Interestingly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also leave for China for BRICS Summit on September 3 and stay there till September 5. From there, the PM will travel to Myanmar before coming back to Delhi. From September 5 onwards, according to Hindu religious practises, Sraddh will begin. This period of inauspicious days will continue till September 15. Sources indicated that no time frame has been fixed so far for expansion of Union Cabinet. Prime Minister Modi has not made up his mind on this issue.
Both President and PM are not in Delhi from September 1 to 6. The President House so far not been has not indicated about ensuing Cabinet expansion. Therefore, the President has decided to visit Sabarmati Ashram and pay respects to the father of the nation. Recently, a group of Koli Samaj members from Gujarat met the President and invited him to visit Gujarat. Incidently, as an NDA presidential candidate when he visited Gujarat, he told BJP MLAs that Gujarat was his second home.
Kovind, while recalling his association of 30 to 35 years with Gujarat, said, "In our life we have two homes—one, our birth place and the other, our work place. Uttar Pradesh is my birth place and I went there first after being nominated to seek blessings from the motherland. Gujarat is the 25th state that I have visited." He recalled his frequent visits to Surat and Navsari districts for social service engagements and his tenure as private secretary to the late Prime Minister Morarji Desai in 1977.
"Gujarat is the state that has given two Prime Ministers, Morarji Desai and Narendra Modi," he said and added that he had worked with both. Kovind added that he was blessed to visit Gujarat, the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel.