Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday celebrated Dussehra for the first time after taking charge of office and also performed rituals at the Gorakhnath temple in Gorakhpur as the mahant (head priest).
Hundreds visited the Gorakhnath temple to take part in the 'tilak utsav' led by Adityanath, by applying tilak on his forehead and receiving prasad from him. After the tilak utsav, Adityanath led a 'vijay shobha yatra' in the city, as per the traditions of the temple's mahant. He also burnt the effigy of demon king Ravana.
Adityanath was at the Gorakhnath temple for the last five days to perform the rituals as the mahant and returned to Lucknow on Sunday morning to reprise his duties as Chief Minister. According to reports, the mahant has been conducting special pujas at the temple from 4 am to 7 am and 4 pm to 7 pm, every day over the last five days
Adityanath has been participating and performing pujas during the Dussehra festival at the Gorakhnath temple for several years, but this was his first one after becoming the UP CM earlier this year.
Meanwhile, some social media users have been debating if it is right for a state's Chief Minister to double up as a mahant of a particular religion. The question on whether a CM can set aside his duties for so many days to perform pujas has also been raised.