'It Was A One Time Affair': Piyush Goyal Clarifies On Seat Reserved For 'Bhole Baba' In Kashi Mahakal Express
On Tuesday Piyush Goyal, Railway Minister dismissed reports about a berth being reserved for Lord Shiva in the new Kashi Mahakal Express and said that no seat is reserved for a religious deity and nor will it be reserved in future.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Sunday, February 16, had flagged off the 'Kashi Mahakal Express' that links three Jyotirlingas, a devotional representation of Shiva, in two states, with a seat that was specifically reserved for Lord Shiva.
आधुनिक सुविधाओं से लैस बनारस से इंदौर के बीच #KashiMahakalExpress ट्रेन।— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) February 16, 2020
जो देश के धार्मिक, सांस्कृतिक और ऐतिहासिक महत्व के नगर जैसे, प्रयागराज, लखनऊ, कानपुर, झाँसी, बीना, संत हिरदाराम (भोपाल) को जोड़ेगी। pic.twitter.com/2Z2ZPIdZVF
At a news conference in Hyderabad, Piyush Goyal clarified that some Railway employees had kept the picture of Shiva on a berth out of their devotion, during the inaugural run of the train, news agency IANS reported.
The minister further said that there were no passengers on the train and its service for the public would begin only on February 20.
He added that he also keeps the pictures of Ganesh and Sai Baba with him and offer prayers while travelling.
"People while travelling in trains also offer namaz. Nobody has stopped them," he added.
Reaction To Owaisi's Tweet
With reference to ANI UP's tweet announcing that Seat number 64 of coach B5 in Kashi Mahakal Express (Varanasi-Indore) has been turned into a mini-temple of Lord Shiva, Asaduddin Owaisi had tweeted a photograph of the Preamble of the Constitution to the Prime Minister's Office.
In response to this Goyal advised the AIMIM president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi to check the facts before tweeting.
He also added that 99 per cent of Owaisi's tweets are misleading and divisive.
IRCTC Issues Clarification
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism (IRCTC) issued a clarification stating that it was a mere gesture by the railway staff.
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism (IRCTC): Staff of new Kashi Mahakal Express train have temporarily put photos of Shri Mahakaal on an upper berth to do 'pooja' & seek blessings for success of new project. It is meant only for the inaugural run as a one time affair. (File pic) pic.twitter.com/Gl89wg2lTl— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 17, 2020
They had temporarily put photos of Shri Mahakaal on an upper berth to do 'pooja' & seek blessings for the success of the new project.
It was a one-time affair, only for the inaugural run.
"The inaugural run was also not open to passengers. There is going to be no such reserved or dedicated berth for this purpose in the commercial run of the train which is starting from February 20, 2020, onwards," the IRCTC had said in a statement.