PM Modi had inaugurated the Kashi Mahakal Express on February 15. In the train’s first run, a seat was reserved for Lord Shiva. The train connects the destinations for 3 of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India.
Varanasi: Seat number 64 of coach B5 in Kashi Mahakal Express (Varanasi-Indore) has been turned into a mini-temple of Lord Shiva. The train was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conferencing yesterday. pic.twitter.com/X5rO4Ftbl6
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 16, 2020
Seat number 64 of the coach B5 has been turned into a mini-temple with decorative items, flowers and framed photos of Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga. Named as Kashi Mahakal Express, this is the third private train that is being hailed to provide services with only vegetarian meals onboard, two private security guards in each coach and light devotional songs. The fully 3-AC train will run thrice a week between Varanasi and Indore. Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the train on Sunday, February 16, which will ply between Varanasi and Indore regularly from February 20.
The Northern Railway spokesperson Deepak Kumar claimed that it is for the first time that a seat has been reserved and left vacant for the deity Lord Shiva. “A temple has been arranged on the seat to make people aware that the seat is reserved for the Lord Mahakal,” Kumar said.
There were news reports stating that railway officials are contemplating keeping the berth as a permanent feature in the train. Following which there was a considerable buzz on social media.
Predictably, the feature of having a perpetual temple in the train has ruffled a few feathers. AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi took to Twitter to express his disapproval with the seat being reserved for Lord Shiva.
— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) February 17, 2020
Without saying anything, Owaisi quoted a tweet about the reservation of Seat 64 in B5 for Lord Shiva with the photo of the Preamble of India’s constitution and tagged Prime Minister’s office in it.
#IRCTC says a seat was reserved for Lord Shiva in Kashi Mahakal Express during inaugural run as ‘one-time affair’ to seek ‘blessings’ for success of the new project
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) February 17, 2020
However, IRCTC has today clarified that the reserved seat was a one-time affair, for seeking the blessings of Lord Shiva on the train’s maiden journey.