Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi today declared the Shri Krishan Balram Rath Yatra as “state festival”. Accompanied by Cabinet Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, MLAs Surinder Dawar, Sanjay Talwar and Kuldeep Singh Vaid, and several others, the Chief Minister paid obeisance at the Rath Yatra today.On this occasion, CM Charanjit Singh Channi also announced Rs 2.51 crore for Iskcon Temple Ludhiana.While addressing the gathering at a function organised near the Shri Durga Mata Mandir, CM Channi said that as a mark of respect towards Lord Krishna, Shri Krishan Balram Rath Yatra would be celebrated as a “state festival” every year by Punjab government.While recalling his regard for Bhagvad Gita, the Chief Minister shared that when he became a Municipal Councillor around 25 years back, a noble soul had advised him to recite one shloka from holy Bhagvad Gita for inner peace. He said that the holy book gave a direction to life and said that youth should imbibe the teachings of the Bhagvad Gita and practice it in their lives. He added that if one could imbibe just one of the shloks, it was enough to succeed in life.
He also informed that the Punjab government is developing Shri Bhagvad Gita and Ramayana Research Centre on 20-acres land in Patiala. He said that the religious texts are the biggest source of inspiration which guide us towards betterment of our lives. “To further nurture our knowledge through the wisdoms in the epic texts of Ramayana, Mahabharat and Bhagvad Gita, an exclusive research centre is being set up in Patiala,” he said.The Chief Minister also flagged off the 25th Shri Krishan Balram Rath Yatra.Cabinet Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu recalled his association with the organisers of Shri Krishan Balram Rath Yatra. “I am proud to state that I have been associated with this event since 1996, when i was a Municipal Councillor.”He said that there is great enthusiasm among the devotees for this rath Yatra, which is being organised after a gap of two years.Prominent among those present on the occasion included Mayor Balkar Singh Sandhu, Senior Deputy Mayor Sham Sunder Malhotra, PMIDB Chairman Amarjit Singh Tikka, Deputy Commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma, Commissioner of Police Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, besides several others.