Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday prayed for a drought-free state and good monsoon this year while performing the traditional puja of 'Ashadhi Ekadashi' in Mumbai. "I sought peace and prosperity in the state. Similarly, I prayed for a good monsoon so that the state remains drought free," Chavan said after performing the puja of Lord Vitthal and Rukmini.
Chavan's wife Satvasheela also participated in the ritual which began early on Wednesday morning. The chief minister said he got an opportunity to perform the rituals, as per the tradition which dates back several years. Greeting the people on the occasion, he expressed happiness that monsoon had revived in the state.
A farmer, Ram Shelke (48), his wife Pramila and son Sangameshwar from Bidar district in neighbouring Karnataka got the honour of performing the puja along with the chief minister. Shelke has been participating in the Pandharpur wari (yatra) for the last 22 years.
Chants of "Jai Hari Vitthala" and "Gyanba Tukaram" filled the temple town of Pandharpur with culmination of the 23-day "wari" pilgrimage undertaken by lakhs of pilgrims from across Maharashtra on the occasion of Ashadhi Ekadashi. Pandharpur is a pilgrimage city on the banks of Bhima river in Solapur district. The Vithoba temple here attracts about a million pilgrims in the month of Ashadh (June–July).