Bhopal: BJP leader L K Advani on Monday asked the states ruled by the saffron party to emulate Madhya Pradesh government in conceptualising and implementing public welfare initiatives.

"This is a novel experiment after Ladli Laxmi Yojna by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Other BJP-ruled states must continue to think on similar lines to prove that BJP-ruled states are working in a different manner," Advani told a function after flagging off a special train to Rameshwaram at Habibganj railway station under the 'Teerth Darshan Scheme'.

Under the scheme, senior citizens who could not visit holy places for lack of resources and are not tax payers, are eligible to visit the select pilgrimage spots at the state's expense.

As many as 1,000 senior citizens on Monday left for Rameshwaram in a special train booked by the state government.

Highlighting the importance of pilgrimage in one's life, Advani recalled that when his family shifted to India from Pakistan, his grandmother wished that she should stay in Kashi following which his father ensured that she must spent some time there.

"In India, pilgrimage is an important aspect in one's life as people have a lot of faith in mountains, trees and rivers," he said.

Hailing Chouhan for the "novel" initiative, Advani said the 'Ladli Laxmi Scheme' launched earlier by the state government too was emulated by other states.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan government has signed an MoU with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) to conduct pilgrimage tours for senior citizens under the special scheme. IRCTC will make all arrangements (boarding and lodging) for pilgrims.

The Chief Minister said on the occasion that his government will run similar trains for religious places of all faiths.

The second special train under the scheme will be flagged off on September 13 to Ajmer Sharif.


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