CM Participates in Prayer Before the First Batch of Haj Pilgrims Leaves for Mecca

Nitish Kumar at the Haj Bhawan in Patna on Friday.

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Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday took part in the 'dua', or prayer, at the Haj Bhawan in Patna where he also wished the first batch of Haj pilgrims a safe and happy journey to Mecca.

The prayers were held by Maulana Shamim Ahmed Munami of Kanekah Munamiya Mitan Ghat.

The Chief Minister, as always, asked the Haj pilgrims to pray for the prosperity and peace in Bihar.

The first batch of Haj pilgrims consisting of about 150 people is scheduled to leave for Saudi Arabia from Gaya International airport on July 14.

Officials said 4,798 pilgrims from Bihar will be taking the 45-day pilgrimage. The last flight will leave on July 28. Return flight back home would start from August 28.

A total of 5,159 applications were received for the subsidized Haj trip but 362 had to be turned down on a number of technical reasons, officials said.

Speaking on the occasion, Kumar once again repeated his 'progress with social justice' line saying he did not believe in just progress.

"Development should be where it helps every single individual and community but more importantly, the society needs love, peace, brotherhood, and a sense of goodwill among fellow citizens. Only then one can reap the benefits of progress," the Chief Minister said.

Chowdhary Mehboob Ali Kaiser, the president of the Haj Committee of India, rued the reduction in Haj subsidy this year by Rs. 200 crore. He further said that he had asked the Government of India to reduce GST on Haj pilgrimage that was hurting many people who wished to go to the most important pilgrims of their lives.

Minority Welfare Minister Khurshid Ahmed, Bihar Haj Committee chairperson Iliyas Hussan, Member of Parliament Kehkashan Parveen and other prominent Muslim citizens were present on the occasion.


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