Nitish Kumar meets Dalai Lama: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, on Friday, met Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama in Bodh Gaya where the latter is on an annual retreat after a two-year hiatus. Kumar spent around half an hour with Dalai Lama after reaching the Tibetan Monastery at 12.40 PM.
Following the meeting, Kumar went to the Maha Bodhi temple, situated at the site where the Buddha is said to have attained Enlightenment. Notably, extensive security arrangements were in place and the temple was closed to the general public in view of VIP movement.
Bihar CM spoke to media following his temple visit
The Bihar CM also addressed the media after coming from the temple and spending some time close to the Bodhi tree.
“Every year, during this time, a large number of people visit Bodh Gaya where they offer prayers and listen to the preachings. The age-old tradition could not be followed for the last two years because of the pandemic. Thankfully, it has resumed, although we are alert because of the fresh spike in Covid cases reported from other parts of the world,” Kumar told reporters,”
He further said, “I have been told that the number of people visiting Bodh Gaya is in lakhs. It is a matter of joy and pride for us. But because of the recent spurt, officials have been instructed to test foreign nationals.”
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Kumar claimed he shares ‘old and deep relationship’ with Dalai Lama
Kumar also recounted the “old and deep relationship” he shared with the Dalai Lama, who “has visited Patna in the past on my invitation and agreed to inaugurate a Buddhist museum coming up in Vaishali district which may be thrown open to the public in a few months”.
The Bihar CM said he would be back in Bodh Gaya soon as part of a state-wide “yatra” commencing on January 5, as part of which he would seek to raise awareness against social evils and mobilise public opinion in favour of abstinence from alcohol.
(With inputs from agencies)
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